Eric Abidal tearful in his exit from Barca

In a press conference to announce his departure from Barcelona, Eric Abidal couldn’t keep down his emotion: “I had two objectives: to fight to see my daughters grow up and be with my wife, and another to play again. I would have liked to have stayed and played on but the club saw it differently and I have to respect their decision.”

“It’s a very difficult day for me. I have played for Barça for six years and it’s been the biggest experience of my life. I’ve had some wonderful teammates, the best in the world. I’ve learned a lot, thanks to the managers who put their faith in me and to the doctors and physios who helped me through the difficult times.” he said, choking back tears.

“The truth is that it was very sad. I’d planned to continue because I fought hard to get back to play here. In the end there are only two paths, to carry on or not. I will carry on elsewhere.” said Abidal.

“I’m leaving but I’ll probably be back. I have an interesting offer on the table that I need to think about. I want to thank the fans who have supported me and rooted for me during my recovery. Thanks everyone and long live Barça!” he said, as the room broke out into cheers and applause.

Even though he’s leaving, Abidal feels his career isn’t done just yet: “There is a time for analysing things. I believe I can take one or two more seasons. I am 33 years old, I can retire at 35.”

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