Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Abidal retires for 'strictly personal reasons'

19 December 2014, 17:19

Piraes - Former France international defender Eric Abidal announced his retirement on Friday for "strictly personal reasons".

But the 35-year-old former Barcelona star, who returned to playing football after undergoing a liver transplant, told an emotional press conference: "I am open to proposals."

Holding back the tears, he added: "I do not regret my decision. I just want to rest now, enjoy my family and then to think about my future."

Also read: Nigerian refs sweat it out

He said he had received offers from both Barcelona and Olympiakos, but made no mention of press reports that he would take up a post coaching Barcelona's youth teams.

Abidal is listed in the line-up for Saturday's crucial Greek Super League match with Kalloni on the island of Mytilene as Olympiakos have injury problems in defence and do not have a second central defender.

"I think this will be my last match," Abidal said.

Abidal joined Olympiakos six months ago on a two-year contract, played in eight out of 14 Super League matches and all six Champions League fixtures.

"This is a big and difficult moment in my life as today I officially end my professional career with Olympiakos," Abidal said at the start of the press conference. "My time has come."

Abidal also thanked all the coaches and teams that he played with throughout his career "and I will remember them always in my mind and heart".

He spent six years with Barcelona but left in 2013 after recovering from the transplant but was not offered a new contract.

Abidal was first diagnosed with a liver tumour in March 2011 but remarkably he played the whole of the Champions League final against Manchester United two months later which Barca won 3-1.

A year later he underwent the transplant.

Capped 67 time by France, he played in all bar one of the games in the 2006 World Cup finals where the French reached the final only to lose in a penalty shoot-out to Italy.

He spent last season with Monaco before moving to Olympiakos.

Olympiakos Strategic Advisor and former France international player Christian Karembeu, said the club "respected the decision" taken by Abidal and that he had given the team "a lesson of life. He belongs to our family, our house is open to receive him whenever he wants".


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...