Abidal Makes Emotional Return For Barcelona

by
Reuters

BARCELONA, April 6 (Reuters) - Eric Abidal returned to competitive action for the first time since a liver transplant in April last year when he came on as a second-half substitute in Barcelona's La Liga match against Real Mallorca on Saturday.

The 33-year-old former France defender, who was passed fit to return to training with his team mates last month, is a huge favourite with the Barca fans and was greeted with a rousing ovation when he replaced Gerard

Barcelona's player Eric Abidal poses after their Spanish First division soccer league match against Mallorca at Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona

Eric Abidal returned to competitive action for the first time since a liver transplant in April last year when he came on as a second-half substitute in Barcelona's La Liga match against Real Mallorca on Saturday.

The 33-year-old former France defender, who was passed fit to return to training with his team mates last month, is a huge favourite with the Barca fans and was greeted with a rousing ovation when he replaced Gerard Pique in the 70th minute.

Abidal's return is well timed as Barca centre backs Carles Puyol and Javier Mascherano and full back Adriano are all out injured at a critical stage of the season.

Barca, 13 points clear of Real Madrid at the top of La Liga, play the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final against Paris St Germain at the Nou Camp on Wednesday after last week's first leg ended 2-2.