Eric Abidal Says Barcelona Did Not Pay Him During His Illness, Liver Transplant

Mark PattersonUK Staff WriterSeptember 6, 2013

France defender Eric Abidal has claimed in an interview that former club Barcelona did not pay him during the year that he was away from the game.

The 34-year-old left the Spanish champions in the summer, having just returned to the game following a liver transplant, which he required after he overcame a liver tumour detected in 2011.

He was immensely popular at the Nou Camp and his tearful exit drew an emotional response from his teammates and the club as a whole.

Now, having joined Monaco in the summer, Abidal has hit out at the way his previous team treated him.

In quotes from L'Equipe, picked up in the Guardian, Abidal says:

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.

Early in the current campaign, the indications are that Abidal is back to full health and fitness. He has played the full game for Monaco in every league match, and has won back his place in the France squad as they attempt to book a place at the 2014 World Cup.

Barcelona have denied Abidal's claims, with a source in Spanish newspaper AS saying, in quotes translated in the Daily Mail: "Eric Abidal was paid in full under his contract and on time."