Thoughts for Eric Abidal

A true champion
Our wonderfully mercurial LB and CB Eric Abidal has a tumor on his liver, according to the official Barcelona Catalan Twitter feed. He will have surgery this Friday. We know nothing more and the team is respecting Abidal’s privacy, as he requested, meaning we will not hear much more concrete information from the club unless the player allows.

Eric’s contributions to the club, which have been immense as starting LB and a fill-in when needed at CB, make him a special figure for us fans, but as a human being firstly, we hope the player recovers quickly. Please leave your good thoughts, karma, prayers, whatever you do that you feel sends good vibes out for a human and a wonderful FCB player. Also, please do not make rogue speculations about the nature of the tumor in the comments. Let’s just all hope he gets better.

We love you Eric, get better soon. Here is some of the player’s heart, from the Sevilla game.

Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images Europe

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120 Comments

  1. Whatever
    March 15, 2011

    I know he’ll be okay. He’s a true fighter, do doubt about it.

      • lovelymofo
        March 15, 2011

        In Spanish it’s ‘animo’. Not sure how it translates.

      • K_legit
        March 15, 2011

        I believe its the Catalan version of ‘animo’ which means in effect ‘get well soon’ or something to that regard

  2. lovelymofo
    March 15, 2011

    Oh man. Abidal is awesome. It’s obvious we’ll miss him, but health first. Best wishes to him and hope to see him defend the blaugrana soon.

  3. March 15, 2011

    Terrible news. Let’s hope and pray for the best. Hopefully it turns out to be a completely benign.

  4. Jim
    March 15, 2011

    Shocker. Hope it turns out for the best.

  5. Miguel
    March 15, 2011

    off topic, but is inter really gonna pull this off?

    • Ryan
      March 15, 2011

      That really sucks for Bayern, especially considering how many chances they had in the first half. Not exactly a new occurrence for Barca fans though.

  6. mardia
    March 15, 2011

    Oh, this is awful. Praying it’s benign and he recovers quickly.

  7. soccermomof4
    March 15, 2011

    No! This is awful!

    Our prayers are with you, King Eric!

  8. Vj
    March 15, 2011

    #animsabidal is the hashtag proposed by the club to show your support for Eric Abidal who on Friday will undergo surgery for a liver tumor.

  9. beeeef
    March 15, 2011

    Shocking news. Hope all will be well in the end.

    Amazing how many squad players could be potentially absent in the upcoming weeks with various injuries and other health concerns. In 24 hours no less!

  10. Miguel
    March 15, 2011

    no way?! chicharito got a brace?

    ok, it’s 3 o’clock. time to get some work done. 🙂

  11. PM
    March 15, 2011

    Shocked!
    Abidal is a great person and a true cule hero, I wish him speedy recovery.

  12. blaunero
    March 15, 2011

    This is terrible news. I hope he makes a swift recovery.

  13. jordi™
    March 15, 2011

    🙁 This is out of the blue.Hopefully he recovers.

  14. Helge
    March 15, 2011

    Oh my God… that is awful.
    I really wish him the best. I don’t know how the chances are for a liver tumor to be healed / destroyed, and there’s always a chance of it re-occuring. My prayers go to Eric and Japan, these days.

    About CL: How could Bayern lose that match???

  15. BarcaGator
    March 15, 2011

    Terrible news.

    Best wishes for a safe and speedy recovery.

    Visca Abidal!

  16. March 15, 2011

    Wow. This is completely out of the blue. 🙁

    Animo, Abi!

  17. Extreme barca fan
    March 15, 2011

    What terrible news, get well soon abi.

  18. March 15, 2011

    “Anims” loosely translates to “chin up,” or “be strong.”

    For me, times like thisare when we are reminded that this is a game. But it takes real life to remind us of that.

    Human beings play this game that we love, something that’s easy to forget. We discuss their strengths, weaknesses and complexities, and we just never think about players having to deal with stuff like that, and it moves us sometimes….deeply.

    Football is a game. What Abidal is dealing woth real-life stuff. Let’s wish him all the best, and keep him in our thoughts, if we have spare ones in the aftermath of trying to get our minds around the Japan tragedy.

    • caosanping
      March 15, 2011

      Totally agree. One of the reasons I love Barca, Barca’s coach and players is that they never forget football is a game. You play to entertain people. I still remember Pep said in season 08-09 that he appreciates cules to come and watch the game under such a bad economic situation. Many things happening outside the filed are much more important than football games. He is happy Barca’s games could give people some happiness in hard times. Messi also said similar things and claimed if your games can’t bring happiness to people then it’s meaningless. This is such a contrast to some teams, players, and coaches, who only care about victory, fame and money. God Bless Abidal and Barca!

  19. Kariyanna
    March 15, 2011

    OMG I saw this story on goal.com and didn’t believe it at first since they began their article with “The 31-year-old, who has made 22 appearances this term, but has not played since the Blaugrana’s 3-0 win over Atletico Madrid last month, will have the operation on Friday”

    This to me is hard news to swallow. So out of the blue :(. Get well soon Abi and make a swift recovery. You have been our best defender this season…you will definitely be missed.

  20. Helge
    March 15, 2011

    Mmh… not looking good. If it’s a maligne tumor (which I suppose as he will have surgery), the relapse chance is about 60% (according to the German wikipedia). 🙁

    • Vj
      March 15, 2011

      Also, please do not make rogue speculations about the nature of the tumor in the comments

      • Helge
        March 15, 2011

        Sry, didn’t read it, was too shocked after the first lines. I apologize.

    • March 15, 2011

      There’s no reason to assume it’s malignant. Chances are it’s benign given his age and prior health.

      This actually isn’t all that unusual. Tumors are found in the liver incidentally during medical tests frequently.

  21. March 15, 2011

    I hope he will get well soon

    and I know that if that happens, he will defy everything and come back faster than anyone else, because Bilal is a lion and too strong of a person. and I know that every player will now do 110% more for him because they owe him big time.

    Anims Abidal!!! Tots Units Fem Força!

  22. Tom, Dick and Harry
    March 15, 2011

    I am no doctor but considering that the tumor is operable suggests that the disease is in early stages and/or benign. It was my understanding liver tumors are usually hard and pointless to operate on so this is a good sign.

    Assuming he wasn’t diagnosed “this morning” and coupled with the recent talk about the lengthy contract extension I expect this issue to be resolved soon in the best way possible.

    Of course, there is a risk involved with every surgical intervention no matter how small it is. Liver and surrounding area is a complex environment which makes it harder.

    If something good can possibly come out of a situation like this, I expect it to galvanize the team even more and help them find extra energy to play through possible pain and fatigue during the most important stretch of the season.

    Naturally, I extend thoughts and prayers to Eric and his family.

  23. soccermomof4
    March 15, 2011

    Bassam, God bless him, just posted a get well article on the RM Offside! There were kind comments on the thread prior to that one. Players from all over all tweeting their wishes as seen on Barcastuff. My goodness, it’s hard to think of anyone as the “enemy” right now! Did I just say RM instead of EE? I guess I just did.

    • Vj
      March 15, 2011

      Cancer is the enemy. Bad, bad repressed memories wreak havoc by the mere mention.

      I hope he and his family get all the luck in the world right now. May God be with them..

      And Bassam is a true Culé hero.

      • Luke
        March 15, 2011

        Fuck that. Cancer is above football and rivalries. We would do the same thing for any RM player here.

  24. MemoryLane
    March 15, 2011

    Just heard about this, really sad. Hoping for the best and God willing you’ll be back on the field before we know it.

  25. March 15, 2011

    Best of luck to Abidal and his family. As soccermomof4 and Vj mentioned, I wrote a little post in the wake of the moment. For more of my thoughts, you can check it out there.

    Until then, and coming from someone that works in cancer research, speculating on this stuff is really useless. Hopefully it will be nothing.

    anim, Abidal.

  26. BarcaGirl_Indo
    March 15, 2011

    God, this is truly a devastating news…
    a tumor in the liver? Oh my Lord… Eric Abidal…

    who would’ve thought he’s caring a tumor?
    what a soldier you are, my King! I’m really starting to cry writing this…

    really hope it’s just a benign tumor… really really hope…

    thank you, Bassam… I really can’t hate anyone right now…
    I love everyone who gives our Abi support and prayer…

  27. blitzen
    March 15, 2011

    If he was well enough to play on the weekend, it can’t be too far advanced. I have every expectation that he will make a full recovery.

    Anims, Abidalthazar. Will keep you in my thoughts (and in my gravatar).

    • blitzen
      March 15, 2011

      Oh, and Hi Luke. Where have you been?

      • Luke
        March 15, 2011

        Wrapping up law school and all that jazz. Hopefully posting more in the future.

    • soccermomof4
      March 15, 2011

      good idea about the gravatar!

      • soccermomof4
        March 15, 2011

        Mind if I honor him this way too? Just say the word and Xaviniestleo goes back up.

  28. March 15, 2011

    Geh. Hafta do this by phone, but:

    According to the doctor, the operation of Abidal would be a routine operation and he could be back in 4 to 6 weeks [barcastuff]

    #animsabidal

  29. can_we_go_Xalvies
    March 15, 2011

    I am shocked, one of my favourite defenders, despite my age (21) he is really someone I look up to both as a player and human, and maybe if he was at this level of football many years prior, he would have been my childhood hero, someone I would have liked to emulate when I played football.

    I really hope he returns to full health very soon, I feel very depressed but the amount of support I read for Abidal from everybody makes such a situation a lot better to deal with.

    so now things become very difficult for Pep, will we see Milito a lot more at cb, or will Busquets fill in from now on?

    • BarcaGirl_Indo
      March 15, 2011

      tough choice… I feel safer with Busquets as CB…
      huff, I don’t know… 🙁

      Puyol, come back to us, NOW!

      #animsAbidal

  30. BarcaGirl_Indo
    March 15, 2011

    barcastuff :
    “According to the doctor, the operation of Abidal would be a routine operation and he could be back in 4 to 6 weeks…”

    thank, God!!!

    • BarcaGirl_Indo
      March 15, 2011

      and he wants to visit his teammates at training…

      Abiiiii…. we love you!!

  31. soccerdadof4
    March 15, 2011

    Terrible news. Get well soon King.

  32. barca96
    March 15, 2011

    I woke up turned on the EspnNews channel as usual and saw a slideshow of Abidal with a slow song. And that was that. Had to wait 10mins for that same news to come back. What the heck. I already feared the worst although it’s not as bad but it’s still bad.
    He’s still so young.
    Let’s all pray for him( whatever religion you are).
    May God be with him.

  33. Benj
    March 15, 2011

    Anims, EriAbi, from all the way in Aust.

    All of our thoughts and prayers go out to you, oh saviour of the left side of defense.

    Prior to this season I really undervalued this player and, heaven forbid, questioned Kxevin’s value of him. Boy has he proved me wrong this season. Easily one of our MVP’s in 10/11, and not looking like ever slowing down.

    Truly a culè hero. Mès que un frenchy 🙂

    • BarcaGirl_Indo
      March 15, 2011

      btw, you have twitter account, Kari?

      and everyone else?

      • March 15, 2011

        Nope. No ooooohhh moc, moc-ing in 140 characters or less for moi.

        The world is safe.

      • Luke
        March 15, 2011

        Mine: lukeisamazing
        Isaiah: fcbfootballblog
        Kevin: kevvwill

        That’s all I know right now. A ton of commenters are on though.

  34. blitzen
    March 15, 2011

    All the tweets from players around the world that barcastuff is posting are seriously making me cry. He is clearly very well thought of by his peers, and that says a lot about him as a player and a person.

    • March 15, 2011

      Right there with you, blitzen. Hard not to, really. Life does some crazy stuff sometimes, in my opinion to remind us all about how fleeting it all is.

      I had a great friend, a bicycle racer like me, who started having headaches one day, then a seizure over Thanksgiving dinner. Next he knew he was under the knife. I had Tom for almost three years after that, and every day that I could see him was great.

      He was having a great season, and whenever I think of an athlete who has to deal with something such as this, even if it’s benign as I suspect it is, I’m still gutted. Night, everyone. Or morning, whatever time zone you’re in.

  35. March 15, 2011

    Knowing Abidal, he’ll probably run to the hospital, defend against a pickpocket or two along the way, then try to run home after the operation.

    I changed my Facebook profile pic to one of Abidal, and so it will remain until he returns to us, safe and sound.

    • barca96
      March 15, 2011

      And probably do the low header along the way.

      How about changing your gravatar?
      I think it’s time for me to sign up for it and put up
      King Eric.

  36. Benj
    March 15, 2011

    And off topic, anyone had a look at this:

    *http://soccernet.espn.go.com/news/story/_/id/894146/barcelona-wait-on-news-of-lionel-messi-injury-blow?cc=3436

    “The club have also announced that there is “serious doubt” surrounding the possible participation of Pedro and Maxwell, who are suffering with hernia and thigh problems respectively.

    Adriano (leg strain) and Dani Alves (ankle) are also doubtful and will require further examination.”

    Along with EriAbi, wheres our defense? Looks like its Pique and the kids, moc moc!

    • barca96
      March 15, 2011

      Fontas gets the nod for me as a back-up since we don’t know when Puyol will make a come back.

      Bartra-Pique-Milito-Muniesa

      or

      Bartra-Pique-Busi-Muniesa
      if Pep really doesn’t trust Milito anymore.

      Why didn’t Busi pick up a yellow card last weekend?
      He should’ve just fouled a Seville player during one of their attacks. He had many chances to do so.

  37. vicsoc
    March 15, 2011

    I come down from out of the mountains and this is the news I get?
    All I can do is hope they found it early, it is benign, and the surgery is successful.

  38. BarcaOwl
    March 15, 2011

    Definitely not the kind of news anyone wants to wake up to. Many good thoughts for Abidal and I hope he gets well soon.

  39. vicsoc
    March 15, 2011

    I just want to clear something up here: having a tumor doesn’t necessarily mean you have cancer. A tumor is a lesion formed by uncontrolled growth of cells. Cancer is a disease characterized by uncontrolled cell growth as well as several other factors including invasiveness and the possibility of metastasis (and the cells’ ability to survive even when being free of a grounding medium and… And…). Basically, not all tumors are cancer.

    I don’t mean to come off as patronizing but the differences are actually profound both cellularly and clinically. This particular issue also happens to be a pet peeve of mine, so I apologize for taking it out on you.

    To speculate without knowing anything about his particular condition would be silly. However I think it’s fair to say that the fact it is being described as a tumor and no as cancer at this time is a good thing

    • vicsoc
      March 15, 2011

      And I meant a good thing in a relative sort of way.

  40. Jnice
    March 15, 2011

    The Abidal news made me quite sad. Had to sleep for a few hours to stop thinking about it. Hope he gets better soon.

    Feel kind of shitty posting this here, but for those who can’t access Revista:

    /http://hotfile.com/dl/110402500/ace52f7/Revista_De_La_Liga_-_15-03-11.avi.html

    /http://bitshare.com/files/xgvwcbrn/Revista-De-La-Liga—15-03-11.avi.html

    /http://www.fileserve.com/file/XgMSt6y/Revista De La Liga – 15-03-11.avi

    /http://www.filesonic.com/file/243263951/Revista_De_La_Liga_-_15-03-11.avi

    Credit to Pakman at fbtz.com

    • barca96
      March 15, 2011

      And credit to you for posting it here.
      Just one part?

        • barca96
          March 16, 2011

          If Im not mistaken, the last time I downloaded revista, it was in two parts. The Clasico one. I could be wrong..

          • Jnice
            March 16, 2011

            Nah, you’re right. I shouldn’t have said always. More like most of the time.

  41. outerspacedout
    March 15, 2011

    Shocked to hear the news of the tumor. Glad to hear the reports that it is operable and that the prognosis is him recovering in 4-6 weeks. As for a sporting side of this, I hope Pique steps up now and becomes a leader when the team needs him instead of keeping on being distracted.

    • outerspacedout
      March 15, 2011

      Yeah Ryan I joined his FB page as well and left a comment on his most recent post.

    • outerspacedout
      March 16, 2011

      Before clicking the link let me try guessing what it is from your reaction. Is this the video of the ‘players warming up’ before the Milan-Bari game with slow-dancing and playing frisbee and stuff?

    • outerspacedout
      March 16, 2011

      Okay I just watched it and that was not the ‘amused what the heck’ I thought you had written but ‘UHHH WHAT THE F*** UHH?????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!’

      What on EARTH was that.

  42. Larm
    March 16, 2011

    abidal is a champ, he probably already has plans to rainbow flick this tumor over his head then pass it into a trash can…cuz hes THE king.

    also for once in my life i want Madrid to win tomorrow…solely because of Bassam’s get well wishes on the real offside. He is a class act…and his classiness deserves a reward.

  43. March 16, 2011

    If I may say, as an aside, that I must express some hesitant joy at having just seen in person Real Salt Lake (the so-called “Barcelona” of the MLS) just win 2×0 the first leg of the CONCACAF Champions League SEMIFINAL over Deportivo Saprissa 🙂

    • vicsoc
      March 16, 2011

      Exciting. On a sort of related note I’m considering diving 5.5 hours each way to see USA – ARG in New Jersey on March 26. Anyone else thinking of going.

      • Jnice
        March 16, 2011

        I was going to go since it’s in my state, but I have some things to do that day.

    • blitzen
      March 16, 2011

      Sorry, but I always have to giggle over the name “Real” Salt Lake. 😛

  44. outerspacedout
    March 16, 2011

    Ps. People here on Twitter, I just made a Twitter account a couple hours ago. It’s @jamgoodmeatgood

    • barca96
      March 16, 2011

      What’s up with you and funny long nick’s?

    • outerspacedout
      March 16, 2011

      It’s one of my favorite lines from Friends by Joey. Custard, good. Jam, good. Meat, gooooood.

      • barca96
        March 16, 2011

        Haha him and his sandwhich.
        Salami sandwhich.yummy.

    • BarcaGirl_Indo
      March 16, 2011

      I just send you a tweet, jamgoodmeatgood… 😛

      • outerspacedout
        March 16, 2011

        Funny, haven’t got any tweets from you yet.

        • BarcaGirl_Indo
          March 16, 2011

          are you sure you’ve checked your mentions?

          you can see @nanda59, that’s me, I’ve sent you a tweet…

  45. OSBAG
    March 16, 2011

    Reading this news on goal.com yesterday was kind of a rude shock but as someone above said i didnt want to believe it was abidal cos of the obvious lie they wrote. Its sad things like this has to happen but we all have to stand by his side. I hope a get well soon banner is displayed this weekend before the getafe match.
    All the solidarity messages on twitter makes me all the more afraid. Ferdinand was even calling it cancer. GET WELL SOON MR ABIDAL. We love you.

  46. OSBAG
    March 16, 2011

    I dont know if anyone has seen this on barcastuff “According
    to the doctor, the
    operation of Abidal
    would be a routine
    operation and he could
    be back in 4 to 6 weeks”
    #animsabidal [cope]

    Gaaaaaawd whom do we turn to milito busi or bartra/fontas. Hope captain caveman comes outta hiding asap

  47. Real7
    March 16, 2011

    this the times were we all put our differences a side and remember that we are all humans from different places and different cultures

    this is one of the biggest shocks i heard last night,King Abidal of all people, i wish him all the best,and to get well soon

    no one deserve this,no matter what,life can be tough,but a guy like him, a true professional, and pure class,well hopefully breeze out of this storm,and be back hopefully soon.
    get well Abidal, my heart and thoughts with you and your family

  48. BarcaGirl_Indo
    March 16, 2011

    so, for anyone who’s on twitter…

    Luke : @lukeisamazing
    isaiah: @fcbfootballblog
    kxevin: @kevvwill
    outerspacedout : @jamgoodmeatgood
    Linda : @blackwhitengrey
    me : @nanda59

    anyone else who wants to share their account?
    I’ll follow you… 🙂

    once again, it really is beautiful to see all supports and prayers from players all around the world, posted by @barcastuff…
    you are such an amazing player and person, Eric Bilal Abidal!

    #animsAbidal

    • outerspacedout
      March 16, 2011

      jnice: jnicee17

      Not jnice17, btw, that profile included many helpful suggestions on methods to make money more quickly, I think. Double E.

      • BarcaGirl_Indo
        March 16, 2011

        yes, of course, @Jnicee17…
        !

        how could I miss jnice…sorry… 😛

  49. outerspacedout
    March 16, 2011

    @BumperGraham Graham Hunter
    The club update on Eric Abidal is that the Barnaclinic have reorganised operation schedules & excising the tumor from his liver is now Thurs

  50. Ezequiel
    March 16, 2011

    Anims Eric! Hope you recover soon

    ps: R.I.P. Nate Dogg

  51. mega_tajh
    March 16, 2011

    SO I woke up today and read that King Abi will be operated on Thursday..a day earlier than they had originally planned. Not jump to any conclusions but idk if to take this as good news or bad news..

    I only hope its good news….whats encouraging is that sport ran an article today of past football players who recovered from tumors and continued their careers.

  52. Goo
    March 16, 2011

    I’m a doctor, but I’m not an expert in the matter. There are plenty of causes of liver masses, ranging from the benign to the serious tumors with poor prognosis. Players get complete physical exams yearly, and if the mass was not seen before he start of the season, if this was a malignant type of tumor it was caught relatively eArly in the course of the disease. However, I doubt that it is that, given that most patients with serious cases would have constiutional symptoms like weight loss, fatigue, poor appetite and the like. Abi has been on the best form of his career, and the symptoms I mentioned are not evident, at least from what we fans can see. So hopefully whatever he has, it is not as serious as our worst expextaions.

    Anims Abi!

  53. gogah
    March 16, 2011

    very sad news indeed. abidal has commanded the most respect from me the past 2 years and i wish him all the best for his surgery. i am confident it will be nothing. but can anyone please tell me how long he will be out. because with the size of our squad and the importance of king abi’s performances this season, i am sure we can kiss our title aspirations goodbye if he is out for more than a month.

  54. Víctor
    March 17, 2011

    He’s a great player, however, he is also a great person. Hope everything goes alright.

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