Abidal undergoes liver transplant

Published Apr. 11, 2012 1:00 a.m. ET

Barcelona defender Eric Abidal is recovering well after undergoing a liver transplant on Tuesday, club president Sandro Rosell has said.

There has been no official statement from Barcelona on the operation, at the request of Abidal's family, but Rosell gave a brief update on the situation on Wednesday.

"Both Abidal and his cousin (Gerard, who donated the liver) are progressing well," Rosell was quoted as saying on his club's official website. "We cannot give any more information due to the express wishes of the family."

The 32-year-old Frenchman's transplant operation finished late on Tuesday night, at a similar time to the conclusion of Barca's Primera Division match with Getafe at the Nou Camp.

During the 4-0 win the Barca fans paid their own tribute to Abidal, and coach Pep Guardiola and his players did likewise following the final whistle.

Guardiola said in his post-match press conference: "We want to dedicate this win to Abidal and to his cousin Gerard. It's a special day because we knew that today he underwent his operation.

"We've been told that Abidal's operation has finished, which has been long and we need to be patient. Throughout the week we will know more. The next few days will be key to see how things are going. We have a lot of faith in someone as strong as him."


Spain international Andres Iniesta was among numerous Barca players who echoed the thoughts of their coach last night, adding: "I'm happy to dedicate this win to Abi. This is for you!"

Midfielder Sergio Busquets also wished Abidal well at a press conference on Wednesday.

When asked about news on the former Lyon, Lille and Monaco player, Busquets said: "He's out of the operation and the coming hours are very important. In two or three days we'll see how things are going. From here I want to send him all the best, as everybody has been doing."

Barca announced last month that Abidal needed to undergo a liver transplant - almost exactly a year after the defender had surgery to remove a liver tumour.

Following that operation in March 2011 Abidal was out for just seven weeks, returning to the team for the end-of-season run-in with a number of substitute appearances, although his only start was in the Champions League final victory over Manchester United when he was given the honour of lifting the trophy.