Barcelona ready to count on Abidal for final

Barcelona ready to count on Abidal for final

Published May. 25, 2011 4:23 p.m. ET

Only two months after having surgery to remove a tumor from his liver, Eric Abidal is ready to line up with Barcelona teammates Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta and Xavi Hernandez in Saturday's Champions League final against Manchester United.

Abidal, who missed the 2-0 win over United in the 2009 final because of suspension, says he is ready to play at Wembley Stadium.

The 31-year-old France defender says returning from his illness was not easy but ''mentally I was strong.''

Xavi says Abidal's return is an ''amazing'' story after his ''life or death'' ordeal, adding the France defender's competitiveness is an ''example'' for the rest of the team.