Former France full-back Eric Abidal was named sports director at his former club Barcelona on Thursday, the Spanish champions said in a statement. The 38-year-old Abidal, who also played for French Ligue 1 giants Monaco and Lyon, spent six years as a player in Catalonia but his career was interrupted by a tumour in his liver in 2011. A year later he needed a liver transplant and played only five league matches in his final season with Barcelona, although he managed to play on for another 18 months, first with Monaco and then Olympiakos, after leaving. Abidal remained an iconic figure at Barca, though, after battling back from his liver troubles to play in the 2011 Champions League final, and last year was made a club ambassador. He played 67 times for France.
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