Two short months ago, Barcelona defender Eric Abidal underwent surgery to have a tumor removed from his liver. Less than six weeks later he returned to training and since then he's resumed playing to win a La Liga title, earn a recall to the French national team and start in a Champions League final. But that wasn't enough.
Since Barcelona's 3-1 win over Manchester United for the European crown played out as if it was a script transcribed by one of the magical cherubs that Pep Guardiola keeps as house servants, the finishing touch that any Hollywood producer would love came when it was time to receive the trophy. Instead of regular captain Carles Puyol or match captain Xavi being the first to lift the trophy, Abidal was given the armband before the walk up to collect their winnings so he could carry out that duty in a show of personal triumph.
Said Abidal after the match (via Reuters):
"I can't explain the emotions I have," Abidal told reporters. "It's spectacular. I'm so thankful for the gesture."
"I want to thank Carles publicly for the gesture," he said. "It honours the club and makes us stronger.
"It's another demonstration of the sort of club I understand we are and demonstrates the human qualities of the dressing room."
And if you have trouble getting the dust out of your eyes after all this, we'll understand.
Photo: Getty Images
- Carles Puyol
- Manchester United
- Pep Guardiola