Who cares about the referees now?

For many of us, this is the iconic image of last season. Eric Abidal, fighting his way back to fitness after the devastating news that he had a cancerous tumour in his liver that required an operation. Puyol, our captain of the enormous heart, insisting that Abi be the one to lift the Champions League trophy. The team rallying behind one of their own and celebrating his triumphant recovery.

Sadly, the club has announced today that Abidal will have to have a liver transplant after all. Here is the official notice from the site:

During the next few weeks, the player will undergo a liver transplant as a result of the progress of his liver disease. A transplant was considered an option from the start of his treatment a year ago. At the express wishes of the player, the Club asks that the maximum respect for the player’s privacy be observed.


I think I can speak for us all when I say that it is news like this that makes us all understand what the really important things in life are. Not football, for a start. Not referees, not conspiracies, not rivalries. It’s this:

All our thoughts are with this brave man and his family right now. I hope and believe he will get through this. He will have the best medical care available and the support of not only his family, friends and teammates, but that of the larger Blaugrana community. Anims Abi! We love you.

EDIT: Just wanted to add one more thing:

Categorized as Barcelona

By blitzen

Canadian, cule, corporate wage slave. Came late to the beautiful game, but fell under FCB's spell in 2006 and never looked back.


  1. Am I the only person who is having a bad feeling with us drawing Milan. For me it’s having too much similarities with our 2009-10 campaign which ended getting koncked out by Inter. Too much similarities?
    1) Eto and Ibra
    2) Met in Group stage.
    3) 1 Draw and 1 Win in Group stage against Milan and Inter

    The last thing I want is that bloody Volcano to erupt again. We need to take the first leg very seriously. We need to win at San Siro atleast scoring two goals.

    1. Difference is that Inter Milan were a physical, powerful and fantastic side with world-class talent in all 11 positions and lots of tactical nous, and this Milan are a solid and consistent side but unbalanced and just not that good except for three or four world-class players.

      Am I the only one here who doesn’t think Milan are just that good? Their midfield is rather average, their full-backs are outright poor, and their team is slow and not extremely fit. Bayern are miles better.

    2. The problem is that against us they will play like that Inter team. Remember the group stage match at San Siro which ended in 2-2, they were brilliant in riding teh pressure and luck. Also the second leg was also close. The bright spot at this moment is that we have Messi in some serious goal scoring form and both xavi and Iniesta fully fit(touch wood).

    3. But Milan playing like that Inter team are just nowhere near as good as that Inter team was. That Inter team was an amazing side- Cesar, Maicon, Lucio, Samuel, Zanetti, Cambiasso, Motta, Sneijder, Milito, Etoo all at peak form, that’s among the best in their positions at the time in all 11 positions. Milan have world-class in only four or five positions. Quite a difference.

  2. I have no apprehension about drawing AC Milan. Yeah, we drew at home in the group but we also let up at the end and they got a goal in extra time to tie it. Set pieces will be are achilles heel, again. If we can sort out the defensive issues we’ve had lately then I expect us to advance agains Milan. I really hope we get Chelsea if we advance. I’d love to shut them up about 08/09 because their fans still bemoan the ref and how they were robbed of penalties. We will wipe the pitch with their old, slow, predictible lineup. As mentioned previously, I’m apprehenisve about a RM vs FCB Final. Anything can happen in a one off final. My feeling is that we would progress if we faced them in the quarters or semi’s over 2 legs, but there’s no telling what would happen in a Final one off. I do like the draw though. I’ll be rooting for Apoel!!!

  3. The only time Mourinho’s beaten us has been that final – CDR 2010-11. Anything can happen in a one off match. All he has to do is sit back and defend for 90 minutes and then take a set piece header or some shit to nick it. I was hoping – praying Madrid would end up on our side of the draw so we would have 180 minutes to beat them. Things have just become a lot more complicated.

    Also, OT: Mourinho is a jackass.

    1. I know it’s late to comment on this thread however, I agree with this post whole heartedly!

      Two thumbs up!!

  4. this time we’ll have Alexis too (hopefully) & Tello & Pedro back.

    and by not playing with EE, let’s hope no more stressful press coverage. I think Pep did not want that at all.

    Everything is possible in one game. But this wont’t be a Liga referee to allow another kick-boxing game!

  5. First off, just want to wish Abidal a speedy recovery and hope that he will be well.

    About the draw: I still think we can go through to the final. Theoretically we are better than Milan Chelsea or Benfica (bearing no freak injuries to our players).

    A final between both fully-fit Barca and Bayern will be awesome. I’m tired of too much Clasico.

  6. seems that between the two Milan games we will be playing Bilbao at home, and Zaragoza away.

    EE will travel to Osasuna and then play Valencia at home. If they would have faced a tougher opponent I could have had some hopes for the Osasuna game. But, between a game at Appoel and what a referee can do…

  7. From Pep’s presser:

    “What the club has done, renewing Abidal knowing what was going on, shows the greatness of this club.”

    This. Exactly. Family.

    via @barcastuff

  8. Anims Abidal! I’ve been really upset since I heard. One, that something we were all sure was in the past has struck another blow and then to find out that all the time Abi had been playing and defending and smiling and helping Cesc with ties, he knew his liver still wasn’t right and that he’d have to have a transplant. This man. I (and I know every single cule will agree) would give up all the trophies we’d ever won and will win, if Abi would just get better. But we can’t. All we can do is what we’re meant to do: be fans. Barca’s fans and Abi’s fans and give him and his family as much love and support as we can give.

    We love you Abi.

  9. From the Guardiola press conference:

    Guardiola: “What the club has done, renewing Abidal knowing what was going on, shows the greatness of this club.

    “Abidal is irreplaceable for this team, but this is not the important thing now.

    “I’m still surprised about Abidal’s strong will. Played several games and kept on training every day knowing he needed a new liver.”

    1. Now we know why Abi’s game has been a little off over the past weeks. Hardly surprising.

      I had this weird feeling that something was amiss during the final practice at Camp Nou before the Leverkusen match. The rest of the team was off doing rondos while Abi was using a side barrier to do some stretching. Leaning on the barrier, and facing the other way, was Guardiola; chatting to Abi as he went through some half-hearted exercises. It didn’t look right because when a player is injured and training away from the rest of the team, there are usually other trainers with him – not Pep. It just looked out of context.

      I also wonder now if this was the reason that Abi’s contract took so long to be finalised.

      Love this club – compassion and humanity before all else.

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