Former FC Barcelona defender Eric Abidal has revealed that Barcelona didn’t pay him during his illness.
After spending six successful years at Camp Nou, Abidal’s Barcelona career came to a rather disappointing end as the club decided not to extend his contract. The Frenchman moved on and joined Monaco on a season long deal. It was an emotional decision for the 33-year-old, who gained heroic status among the fans for his determination and fight against illness after undergoing a liver transplant due to tumour.
Eric Abidal, in an interview to L’Equipe, has now expressed his disappointment at how his career at Barcelona came to an end. He said that the club’s statement, which questioned his ability as a footballer to play in the top level made it hard for him to continue his playing career. But the Frenchman has appreciated the faith Monaco has shown in him as he continues to regain his best form. Abidal also said that Barcelona didn’t pay him during his illness in a shocking revelation.
“The problem was that my contract was coming to an end. In that case, either it’s renewed, either it ends. I was prepared for both. It was hard to accept but you don’t have the choice. The adventure with Barcelona is over, but I’m very happy to have started another one with Monaco.
“What was hard to understand was what Barcelona said during my last press conference. By saying that it was a professional choice, it made other clubs doubt.
“It wasn’t even a question of money. The proof being that all the months I was ill, the club didn’t pay me. Now I’m lucky to have the trust of the Monaco coach and president. Touch wood, everything’s fine. But it’s true that there was a time when I doubted myself.” – The former Barcelona defender said.
Abidal also insisted that if Pep Guardiola was still in charge at the club, there would have been a possibility of extending his stay at Barcelona as the former manager appreciated him as a player and is still in touch with him.
“He’s someone who appreciates me enormously and I’m still in touch with. He was a great coach. He’s the one who gave me my chance. If he was still there, I may have continued [with Barcelona].” – Abidal added.
Abidal has made a fine start to his second stint at Monaco. The big spenders are currently top of the Ligue 1 table having made an unbeaten start to the campaign and Abidal has started in all four of the league matches so far. It is clear that the Frenchman has regained his full fitness and is also expected to play a part in the France’s World Cup qualification match against Georgia.