Abidal released by Barcelona

Eric Abidal has been released on a free transfer by Barcelona at the end of his contract.

The France defender, who has survived cancer in recent years, has been an unsung hero of Barcelona’s recent successes.

“Football for me is a passion since I was a child,” Abidal said. “I don’t see myself quitting now. I have made all this effort to come back to play football. My health is better now. When my body tells me to stop I will hang up the boots.

“I would have liked to keep on playing here, but the club sees it differently and I have to respect that.”

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