Eric Abidal has claimed that his former Barcelona teammate, Dani Alves, was ready to donate part of his own liver when the Frenchman needed a transplant.
The duo played together at the Nou Camp, though the later years of Abidal's career in Spain were blighted by the discovery of a liver tumour and, having had it treated successfully, the need for a transplant.
Abidal recently appeared to hit out at the Barcelona board for not paying him as he spent the best part of a year on the sidelines with the club.
But in an interview with Catalunya Radio, with quotes translated by the Daily Telegraph, Abidal paid tribute to the gesture of one of his friends:
The story with Dani goes beyond the jersey. He knows it. Me too. We are friends and we talk about everything. He wanted to support me.
And besides, he's a very good person. He was my neighbour and his ex-wife and my wife are friends.
Abidal added that "he wanted to give me his liver, but it couldn't be."
Alves was advised that the transplant had the potential to affect his own career, and in the end the donation came from a cousin of Abidal's, the Telegraph adds.
The France international, now 34, moved to Monaco from Spain in the summer, while Alves took over his No. 22 jersey at Barcelona.
Alves scored against Sevilla in Barcelona's 3-2 victory in La Liga at the weekend, but the full-back (pictured, right), did not celebrate against his former club.
In the interview, Abidal also played down suggestions of a feud with the Barcelona hierarchy over his exit.
I have no problem with Barcelona. Everything was agreed to, and what Barca said was true and what I said was also true. There isn't any problem.
Everything is fine. I will return to Barcelona with the same joy I have always had.
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