Tag Archives: abidal

Barcelona: Cesc Fabregas hat-trick Eric Abidal returns after transplant

Fabregas scores hat-trick but Abidal gets Nou Camp ovation on emotional return

By
Lee Bryan

PUBLISHED:

21:59 GMT, 6 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

08:45 GMT, 7 April 2013

Cesc Fabregas scored the first hat-trick of his career as Barcelona moved closer to the Primera Division title with a 5-0 victory over Real Mallorca, but the main story was the return to action of Eric Abidal after a year out following liver surgery.

The home side were also inspired by
head coach Tito Vilanova, who was on the Nou Camp touchline for the
first time since January after undergoing treatment for cancer.

Abidal's appearance brought the crowd
to their feet, with the Frenchman given a standing ovation when he
replaced Gerard Pique in the 70th minute.

Happy return: Barcelona's Eric Abidal received a rousing reception

Happy return: Barcelona's Eric Abidal received a rousing reception

Happy return: Eric Abidal

The 33-year-old former France
defender, who was passed fit to return to training with his team mates
last month, is a huge favourite with the Barca fans.

In a pitch-side television interview with Spanish broadcaster Canal Plus, Abidal thanked the cousin who provided part of his liver for the procedure.

'It was a very special moment for me after a year out,' said Abidal, wearing a shirt with 'Merci mon cousin' on the front.

Tribute: Abidal shows a shirt to thank his cousin who donated his liver

Tribute: Abidal shows a shirt to thank his cousin who donated his liver

'I want to thank my cousin as without him I would not be here today. It is a unique moment,' he added.

Abidal's return is well timed as Barca centre backs Carles Puyol and Javier Mascherano and full back Adriano are all out injured at a critical stage of the season.

In the game itself, it was Fabregas who commanded the spotlight. In the injury-enforced absence of Lionel Messi, he scored three and
set up two for Alexis Sanchez as Barcelona romped home.

Main man: Cesc Fabregas scored his first competitive hat-trick as the league leaders romped to victory

Main man: Cesc Fabregas scored his first competitive hat-trick as the league leaders romped to victory

Main man: Cesc Fabregas scored his first competitive hat-trick as the league leaders romped to victory

Mallorca held their own but it was no surprise when Barcelona made the breakthrough with two goals in two minutes.

Fabregas carried the ball from midfield and played a one-two with Alexis before steadying himself and coolly slotting the ball home across goalkeeper Dudu Aouate.

Mallorca's heads went down and in the 22nd minute they found themselves 2-0 adrift. This time Fabregas cut inside on the left of the area before unleashing a shot which Aouate pushed away from goal only for Alexis to follow up and fire home.

On the scoresheet: Alexis Sanchez was also on target in Barcelona's facile victory

On the scoresheet: Alexis Sanchez was also on target in Barcelona's facile victory

In the 37th minute an intricate passing move ended with Fabregas laying a first-time ball off to Alexis on the right of the area which he reciprocated for Fabregas to drill home.

The former Arsenal captain was involved everywhere and a minute later he provided a superb pass over the top for Alexis, who had got between two defenders, controlling the ball with his right before slotting home with his left.

Fabregas wrapped up his hat-trick seconds after the restart when he collected Iniesta's threaded ball and checked inside the defender before slotting home from close range.

Tito Vilanova set to step down as Barcelona coach after tumour relapse

Vilanova set to step down as Barcelona coach after tumour relapse

|

UPDATED:

15:47 GMT, 19 December 2012

Barcelona manager Tito Vilanova is set to step down from his post after suffering a relapse of a tumour he had removed last year.

The 44-year-old had a tumour on his parotid gland removed in emergency surgery last November when he was the club's assistant manager.

The parotid gland is the largest of the human salivary glands.

But during a recent medical check-up, it was found that the tumour had returned. He is reportedly undergoing emergency surgery in a Barcelona hospital at the moment.

It was announced in April that Vilanova would take over as Barca coach following Pep Guardiola's decision to step down at the end of the season and take a year-long sabbatical from the game.

Stepping down: Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova has suffered a relapse of a tumour he had removed last November

Stepping down: Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova has suffered a relapse of a tumour he had removed last November

Vilanova was Guardiola's assistant
during four hugely successful years at the Nou Camp which saw Barca win
13 trophies, including two Champions League crowns and three Primera
Division titles.

Vilanova has enjoyed a superb start to his tenure in the hotseat,
helping Barca establish a nine-point lead at the top of the league
standings after winning 15 of their opening 16 games while drawing the
other.

Barca are also through to the knockout stages of the Champions League
and hold a 2-0 first-leg lead over Cordoba in their Copa del Rey last-16
tie.

The club cancelled a scheduled press conference involving Club President Sandro Rosell on Wednesday as the news broke, as well as the staff Christmas party.

A training session scheduled for 6pm UK time this evening, and which was open to the public for the first 15 minutes, has been closed off.

Barcelona
have announced that no decision will be made on a potential replacement
until Vilanova has spoken to the players.

The news broke on the same day defender Eric Abidal was given the all-clear to resume his playing career following a liver transplant.

VILANOVA'S RECORD AT BARCELONA SO FAR

Pld 27 W 23 D 2 L 2 (85.18% win ratio)

Successor: Vilanova replaced Pep Guardiola (right) as Barcelona manager in the summer

Successor: Vilanova replaced Pep Guardiola (right) as Barcelona manager in the summer

Messages of support flooded in for Vilanova from throughout the sporting world.

'Very sorry to hear the news,' Barca midfielder Xavi said on his official Twitter account.

Former tennis world number one Rafa
Nadal said: 'All my strength and support for Tito Vilanova! We are all
with you to overcome this next hurdle.'

Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero ‏tweeted: 'We support you, #AnimoTito! We wish you the strength to overcome this moment.'

His Spanish teammate David Silva added: 'All my support and best wishes to Tito and all of the people in the world fighting every day against cancer. Be strong #AnimoTito'

Former Barcelona striker Gary Lineker tweeted: 'Very sorry to hear Tito Vilanova, the Barca coach, is undergoing surgery after a cancer relapse. Thoughts are with him.'

A statement on the Madrid website read: 'Real Madrid want to express their support and best wishes for the coach of FC Barcelona, Tito Vilanova, and wish him a very rapid recovery. Real Madrid offer their support to his club and to all his family.'

Good job: Barcelona are nine points clear at the summit of La Liga

Good job: Barcelona are nine points clear at the summit of La Liga

Vilanova was out of action for around
three weeks after surgery last year, but returned to the dugout to help
Guardiola for the last six months of the 2011-12 campaign.

The quietly-spoken Catalan said the experience had left him with a different perspective on life, at his presentation in June.

'I had an important operation a few
months ago,' he said. 'I spoke with the medics and my family about the
job, but they all said I was perfectly okay and there was no problem.

'Having overcome this operation it
gives me a different view on life. Perhaps, after what has happened,
training Barca will be like kids play.'

Barca released a press statement this morning announcing they had suspended all activities for today but did not go into details and did not mention Vilanova.

The club confirmed a further announcement would be made later today.

The statement read: 'Barcelona announce that it is has suspended the press conference from president Sandro Rosell planned for midday. As well as that, the media Christmas lunch has been cancelled.

'Later today the club will issue a further release. Until that time we will not make any announcement about this matter.

'We regret any inconvenience this decision may cause.'

Eric Abidal says he"s lucky to be alive after liver transplant

Barcelona defender Abidal says he's lucky to be alive after liver transplant operation

|

UPDATED:

16:05 GMT, 14 December 2012

Barcelona defender Eric Abidal says he is lucky to be alive after undergoing a liver transplant and is battling to make a return to football.

The France left back was diagnosed with liver cancer in 2011 and went under the knife in March this year.

The 33-year-old also hopes to make a full return to football with Barcelona.

Lucky: Eric Abidal (right) underwent a liver transplant operation earlier this year

Lucky: Eric Abidal (right) underwent a liver transplant operation earlier this year

Abidal said: ‘The doctors tell me that it is not normal that I have lived. I will fight to play football again but if I cannot then it’s not a problem, I will continue with my family.’

Abidal received the XIII Prix Pyrenees prize for his perseverance and strength throughout his convalescence, and the defender thanked everyone for their support through this difficult period in his life.

He added: ‘I want to give thanks to everyone for this award. The year that has passed has been the most difficult of my life and I have fought so much.’

Where he belongs: The defender was pictured training with his team-mates this month

Where he belongs: The defender was pictured training with his team-mates this month

The Frenchman, who has been back training with his club, has won a number of honours with Barca, including three La Liga titles and two Champions League winners’ medals.

In touching scenes after Barcelona beat Manchester United in the 2011 Champions League final, Abidal’s team-mates tossed him in the air to celebrate his return to football after his original cancer diagnosis.

Eric Abidal targets December return from liver transplant

Abidal eyes December return as Barca defender continues recovery from liver transplant

|

UPDATED:

11:23 GMT, 5 August 2012

Recovering well: Abidal hopes to be back in December

Recovering well: Abidal hopes to be back in December

Barcelona defender Eric Abidal is hopeful of a return to action before the end of the year.

The 61-cap France international has been out of action since undergoing a liver transplant in April, having undergone treatment on a tumour last year.

He recovered from the original treatment before the end of the 2010-11 season and lifted the Champions League Trophy after Barca's victory over Manchester United, and was cleared to do so again by his doctors.

And he told the club's official website: 'I have started working in the gym and I feel fine. I will keep progressing and see if I can play before December.

'I'm better than three months ago. I am following the guidelines that the doctors have given me and the truth is I feel fine.

'I travel and enjoy being around the team and that environment.'

Barca have signed Spain international Jordi Alba to operate in Abidal's usual left-back position, although the 32-year-old's versatility also allows him to play in central defence should new coach Tito Vilanova wish to use the pair in the same line-up.

Show of support: Arch rivals Real Madrid wore t-shirts wishing Abidal well in March

Show of support: Arch rivals Real Madrid wore t-shirts wishing Abidal well in March

Euro 2012: Ian Ladyman"s diary: Russians protected by guards in hotel

Ian Ladyman's Euro diary: Red army protects Russians in Warsaw hotel

|

UPDATED:

21:30 GMT, 13 June 2012

The Russian team staying in Warsaw’s Radisson Blu hotel were protected by armed guards with full military gear on each floor after Tuesday’s draw with Poland. On Wednesday, UEFA condemned violence between fans of the two teams that marred the occasion.

Gun show: Heavily armed Polish police

Gun show: Heavily armed Polish police

Room with a view

The BBC may have kept their TV presenters back in Salford to save cash but good to see Radio 5 Live’s Nicky Campbell and George Riley keeping it real above Kiev’s iconic Independence Square this week. The view from their studio in the Kozatskiy Hotel is truly stunning.

Language Barrier

Meanwhile, Lviv’s mayor Andriy Sadovyi has demanded his city’s fan zone broadcasts matches in Ukrainian, saying it was ‘unacceptable’ for commentary to be in Russian. Many people in the country still primarily speak Russian, a throwback to the Soviet Union days.

Fan zone: Supporters will be pleased with this offering

Fan zone: Supporters will be pleased with this offering

In the zone

England fans travelling to lovely Kiev without tickets for Friday’s game need not worry. The fan zone runs for half a mile along Khreschatyk Street and — holding 100,000 people — is the biggest I’ve seen. I don’t know what happens if you need the loo, though.

Nice to see you

Few players have been missed more at Euro 2012 than France left back Eric Abidal, recovering after a liver transplant two months ago. But the French Football Federation have invited him to next week’s Group D game against Sweden as guest of honour. Nice touch.

Guest: Eric Abidal has been invited to the tournament

Guest: Eric Abidal has been invited to the tournament

Thumbs up for

My travelling partner out here, The Times’ rakish Manchester man James Ducker. On occasion it has been a bit like having a wife in tow. The difference being that he hasn’t shouted at me yet and doesn’t mind paying for dinner occasionally.

Euro 2012: Eric Abidal hoping to watch France play Sweden in Kiev

Recovering Abidal hoping for docs' all-clear to go and watch France pals in Kiev

|

UPDATED:

11:58 GMT, 13 June 2012


Brave: Barcelona and France defender Eric Abidal underwent a liver transplant two months ago

Brave: Barcelona and France defender Eric Abidal underwent a liver transplant two months ago

Eric Abidal will travel to Kiev next Tuesday to watch France's final Euro 2012 Group D game against Sweden if doctors give him the go-ahead.

The Barcelona left-back had a liver
transplant two months ago, ruling him out of the tournament. Doctors
were satisfied the operation went well and he has been recovering since.

'I've invited Eric. I spoke to him
several times on the phone before coming to Ukraine. We've made plans
for him to come, if his doctors allow him to,' French Football Federation president Noel Le Graet said.

Euro 2012 email button

'He will be in Barcelona on the
morning of the match against Sweden, (scheduled) to arrive in Kiev in
the afternoon, and he will stay with us before going back the next day.'

The 32-year-old Abidal has played 61 times for France and was expected to be a key player at Euro 2012 until the illness forced him out.

Preparations: (from left) Adil Rami, Florent Malouda, Samir Nasri, Alou Diarra and Franck Ribery in training with France near Donetsk

Preparations: (from left) Adil Rami, Florent Malouda, Samir Nasri, Alou
Diarra and Franck Ribery in training with France near Donetsk on Tuesday

He underwent surgery to remove a liver tumor in March 2011 and returned to play sparingly at the end of last season for Barcelona, which he joined from Lyon in 2007 and has helped win two Champions League titles and three straight Spanish league championships.

Abidal remains hugely popular among France players and is particularly close to striker Karim Benzema, who plays for Real Madrid.

Brothers in arms: Abidal (top left) lining up with France last year

Brothers in arms: Abidal (top left) lining up with France last year

'His health is improving, and improving a lot,' Le Graet said. 'As soon as he was feeling better, (all) he wanted to talk about was this trip.'

France drew their opening Group D match 1-1 against England and play Ukraine in Donetsk on Friday.

Eric Abidal could play again, says surgeon

Abidal could play again, insists surgeon after liver transplant

|

UPDATED:

10:54 GMT, 31 May 2012

Barcelona defender Eric Abidal could return to football after his liver transplant.

The France international, 32, had surgery to remove a tumour from his liver last year, but after returning to play again, was forced to undergo a transplant in April with part of an organ donated by his cousin.

Recovery: Abidal could return to football after his liver transplant

Recovery: Abidal could return to football after his liver transplant

'It's up to him. I wouldn't stop him. Time will tell,' his surgeon Juan Carlos Garcia-Valdecasas was quoted as telling Spanish television station TV3 on Thursday.

'If Eric responds well, there is no reason why he shouldn't.

'The liver is an organ that regenerates in three months. Abidal has to recover little by little, but between three and six months, or up to a year after the intervention, the patient is able to have a normal life.

Silerware: Abidal's shirt was paraded on the King's Cup trophy

Silerware: Abidal's shirt was paraded on the King's Cup trophy

'He is always in high spirits. He is a very positive character, it is tremendous. He has never complained about anything.'

The Barcelona squad draped a shirt with his name on the King's Cup trophy after beating Athletic Bilbao on Friday.

Eric Abidal out of hospital

Abidal out of hospital! Former Barca star on the mend six weeks after liver transplant

|

UPDATED:

09:11 GMT, 22 May 2012

Retired former Barcelona and France defender Eric Abidal has been released from hospital, six weeks after a liver transplant.

Abidal was told he needed the operation earlier this year, almost 12 months after surgery to remove a tumour.

The player's cousin supplied the donor organ and Abidal went through the procedure last month.

Recovery: Eric Abidal has been released from hospital after his liver transplant

Recovery: Eric Abidal has been released from hospital after his liver transplant

Barcelona's medical services released a statement, saying: 'Given the particulars of his recovery process, Abidal will have to undergo a number of hospital check-ups.'

Abidal missed just a few weeks of football after his first operation last year but he has been forced to hang up his boots since his transplant.

Yaya Toure keen to finish his career at Barcelona

I'd love to end my career at Barca: City star Toure eying possible return to Spain

|

UPDATED:

00:11 GMT, 9 May 2012

Yaya Toure has admitted he would love to finish his career with a return to Barcelona.

The Manchester City midfielder, whose two goals against Newcastle on Sunday moved the club to the brink of their first title since 1968, was sold by the European champions in the summer of 2010 and the Ivorian says a return to Spain would be tempting.

'I would love to return to Barcelona and finish my sporting career there,' the 28-year-old told Spanish radio station Rac1. 'I love the city and Barca has always been the club of my life.I have a lot of desire to return to Barcelona Football Club.

City slicker: Yaya Toure says he would like to end his career at Barcelona

City slicker: Yaya Toure says he would like to end his career at Barcelona

Nou Camp return Toure left Barca for City

Nou Camp return Toure left Barca for City

And Toure, who City would be very unlikely to sell, said his good friend Eric Abidal's recent liver transplant is part of the reason he would want to return to Spain.

'I would also like to be close to Abidal, he is my brother,' said Toure. 'I want to support him.'

Pep Guardiola allowed Toure to join City for 24million but Barcelona would be unlikely to want him back even though he is popular with the fans and has a good relationship with new coach Tito Vilanova.

'The decision by Pep Guardiola to leave was a little strange because the club has had years of success and trophies. But we are all human. I know the new coach very well. He is a very good person and his footballing philosophy is similar to Guardiola. He will be a very good coach.'

Toure has become incredibly popular at City after scoring the winner in last season's FA Cup semi-final against Manchester United, the final against Stoke and the crucial double at St James' Park.

John Terry will lift Champions League trophy

U-turn by UEFA as Terry told he can lift Champions League trophy… but he might not be first

|

UPDATED:

14:55 GMT, 26 April 2012

UEFA have performed a U-turn to allow John Terry to get his hands on the Champions League trophy should Chelsea beat Bayern Munich next month, but it is unclear if he will lead the side up to collect it.

Terry, sent off in Tuesday's semi-final win in Barcelona, will be unable to sit on the bench in Munich and will have to watch from the stands, along with Raul Meireles, Ramires and Branislav Ivanovic, all suspended for picking up yellow cards.

A statement read: 'If Chelsea win the
2012 UEFA Champions League Final, John Terry will be allowed to lift
the trophy and collect the medal.'

Red mist: Terry will miss the Munich showpiece against Bayern

Red mist: Terry will miss the Munich showpiece against Bayern

Out: Terry will miss the final after he was sent off against Barcelona

Frank Lampard, who will stand in for Terry as captain, said he did not mind who lifted the trophy if Chelsea were to win the European Cup for the first time.

'My ego doesn't need to lift it,' he said. 'I'd love to be part of the team that wins it and, if we do, anyone can lift it.'

Roy Keane and Paul Scholes did not take
part in the presentation ceremony when Manchester United won the
Champions League in 1999 because they were banned from the final.

And when Barcelona won at Wembley last
year, their captain Carles Puyol accepted the trophy and immediately
handed it to Eric Abidal to hoist into the air.

Abidal had come on as a late substitute after making an emotional return to the team following his fight against liver cancer.

Terry was shown a straight red card
during the first half of the semi-final against Barcelona when he kneed
Alexis Sanchez in the back.

Wearing the armband: Lampard will skipper Chelsea in Terry's absence

Wearing the armband: Lampard will skipper Chelsea in Terry's absence

Despite the setback, 10-man Chelsea went on to record a famous result as they held the hosts to a 2-2 draw as Fernando Torres struck a late goal to progress 3-2 on aggregate. Afterwards, Terry, 31, apologised to fans.

'It does look bad on the replay,' he said. 'I raised my knee but hopefully the people out there who know me, know I'm not that kind of player.

'At the time I was bewildered, but looking at the replay it looks a red card. On a personal note, of course (it hurts I miss the final), but we deserve to be in the Champions League final. I really hope that doesn't take away from this win.'

UEFA's control and disciplinary body will decide the length of Terry's suspension on May 31.

European football's governing body have the power to extend the punishment, which would apply to next season's European Super Cup and possibly early Champions League or Europa League matches.