Surgery? WHAT surgery? Abidal’s lookin’ good! EDIT: video!

For those who don’t already know, Eric Abidal visited his mates in practice today. No, it wasn’t an April Fool’s prank. The mercurial left back, who only recently had surgery to remove a tumor from his liver, looked good, as you can see:

Practicing for his return tunnel exit.
"I want to score two goals this season. I have one to go."
Whispers "So when are you coming back? Can you be ready Saturday?"
"Hey, you didn't run over here, did you?"
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In my fantasy life, I’m a Barca-crazed contributor over at Barcelona Football Blog. In my real life, I’m a full-time journalist at the Chicago Tribune, based in Chicago, Illinois.

55 Comments

  1. DontPanic
    April 1, 2011

    Man, so good to see him. Missed him greatly.

  2. Whatever
    April 1, 2011

    And he’s included in the match squad for Villareal. Guardiola wants him to be there to support his teammates!

    • Jnice
      April 1, 2011

      It’s confirmed he’s traveling? That’s really cool.

  3. Josep
    April 1, 2011

    Rumors coming out now that Guardiola quotes were pretty fabricated.

    • Josep
      April 1, 2011

      Err not so much fabricated but my spanish sucks. Something went wrong with the journalist or something

    • Jnice
      April 1, 2011

      It wasn’t supposed to be released to the public. They had an agreement, but the journalist betrayed him.

      • Jnice
        April 1, 2011

        I think they tricked him into thinking his interview would only be used for Brescia’s centennial DVD. Naive on his part, I guess.

        Remember, this is the reason he doesn’t do interviews.

        • Josep
          April 1, 2011

          I guess with a lead that huge the journalist thought he had to do it.. what a snake.

          Still, I wonder what it means of all this situation.

        • Para
          April 1, 2011

          This is confusing to me though; does that mean that this particular part of the interview was going to be on the DVD? Because then they would have come out this year anyway. I know the DVD caters to a specific audience, but I’m sure it would have come out in the wider media as well.

          Unless these particular comments weren’t supposed to be included at all.

  4. Humphrey Bogart
    April 1, 2011

    Watched yesterday our game against Espanyol again. It was so phantastic to see Puyi and King Eric on the pitch. And today came out these pictures, Abi looks great. Hope to see him and Puyi united on the pitch again as soon as possible.

    • Whatever
      April 1, 2011

      Haha, Guardiola rocks on this video!

    • soccermomof4
      April 1, 2011

      I want Abi back, now!

      Didja see his eyes watching every movement of the ball? He so wanted to get in there and play.

      • April 1, 2011

        When coaches talk about a player’s hunger, that’s what they mean. The eyes were amazing.

        • blitzen
          April 1, 2011

          I know! I just watched it before I came over here and I thought the exact same thing.

          “They have a ball–I want that ball. Give me the ball!”

          😀

          I feel good now.

  5. Whatever
    April 1, 2011

    Off topic: Where do you guys buy tickets for Barca games? I’m trying on the official site but I can’t catch a free seat.

    • April 1, 2011

      I buy during the soci pre-sale, but it depends on the match. I can sometimes be difficult to catch a seat, but if you are in Barcelona and visit the Camp Nou the day before, there are always tickets, with the exception of matches against EE or Arsenal.

      • Whatever
        April 1, 2011

        I am going to the Espanyol game. I’ll try to catch a seat on the official site, but if I don’t, I can rest assured that I’ll be able to get a ticket when I get there? I’d like a good ticket on the long side. 🙂

  6. soccermomof4
    April 1, 2011

    So no P!!. That changes my wish list. So here’s a weird one:
    VV
    Alves, Pique, Busi, Adriano
    Messi, sMache, Iniesta
    CT, Villa, 3M
    Messi could so do a Xavi. He and 3M could switch between forward and AM. Just flood the midfield with awesome attacking talent and Villareal never gets to touch the ball, right? Oh, Xavi, why?
    or if Pep really wants to surprise us:
    VV
    Alves, Pique, Busi, Adriano
    Thiago, sMache, Iniesta
    3M, Messi, Villa
    Actually, I think I like this one. Still ticked at Xavi!

    The B team are going to be seriously depleted tomorrow, though if we have Montoya, JDS, & Thiago 🙁

    • Miguel
      April 1, 2011

      messi could so do a xavi, & so could afellay, but i think pep’ll go with a steely midfield & play both masch & busi there. i do hope afellay gets a chance on the wing, though. i’m hoping fontas plays & maxwell slots in at left back & is given orders to not roam forward so much. i wouldn’t be surprised at seeing busi as a centerback, though.

      i forgot about the other b-boys!

      vv
      alves-pique-busi-maxi
      masche
      thiago/jds-iniesta
      afellay-messi-villa

      jds plays the ball a lot simpler and loses it less often but thiago has been on a tear, so who knows?

      • Jnice
        April 1, 2011

        I think Keita is definitely starting.

        If Pep decides to go with a B team player, I think Thiago has to be the one he chooses. He’s been way more consistent this season than JDS and considering he was with the first team for most of the season, I think he’s more familiar with the team.

        • Miguel
          April 1, 2011

          keita! hmmm…i don’t see mascherano(i presume busi will play cb) and him circulating the ball all that well. i’d bring in thiago as a game changer, maybe, if need be. he loses the ball a lot and i’m not sure that’s something you want to do against villarreal’s nilmar & giusepperossi22.

          • Jnice
            April 1, 2011

            I just don’t see Pep leaving out Keita in this match.

            And I think if Pep told Thiago to keep it simple, he can. I’ve seen him play a simple game as well as his usual game.

            I just don’t know about JDS’ confidence at this point. He’s been playing well for the past month, but before that, he didn’t confident for long periods with Barça B.

  7. Eklavya
    April 1, 2011

    Valdes
    Alves Pique Fontas Adriano
    Busi Masch Iniesta
    Villa Messi Afellay

    • Eklavya
      April 1, 2011

      Which will actually look more like:

      ————–Valdes————–
      —–Pique—–Busi——Fontas—
      —Alves——-Masch———Adriano
      ———————Iniesta———
      —–Villa—-Messi———Afellay–

  8. Lev
    April 1, 2011

    great to see Abidal back and to know he will be traveling with the team.

    carry over from the last thread:

    “He will NEVER have a better job then he is in, he will NEVER have a better team than he has, he will probably NEVER have a bunch of players who care for him as much as this mob do. Sorry, but when you have the job of your dreams you don’t walk away. (Ends rant)”

    I know, that makes it so maddening, when you ask yourself WHYYYYY would he ever leave Barça.

    I can understand if he leaves to do something else, or to do nothing at all, because it is obvious that coaching Barça has taken its toll on him. Look at how fast he has turned grey.

    It would be beyond me comprehension if he left to coach another club.

    • blitzen
      April 1, 2011

      I am pretty certain that Pep would never coach another Liga team. He might go to Italy, or England, or even Qatar.

      I could see him staying at Barcelona as director of the entire Youth Football program. The philosopher behind the coaches, as it were.

      As for his successor as first-team coach, I would have to go with Tito, who has learned at the master’s feet, or Lucho.

  9. soccermomof4
    April 1, 2011

    For those of us who can’t get enough Xavi…

    I love how totalBarca translates things for us. I have seen Xavi 550 but they put it together with English subtitles. I think it has 4 parts and the first 2 are available. I’ll post the links separately (are we able to post more than 1 at a time?):

    http://www.totalbarca.com/2011/multimedia/video-xavi-550/

    Again, thanks to totalBarca and I’m still angry at Xavi for silly, ill-timed yellow cards.

    • mega_tajh
      April 1, 2011

      hey soccermomo I was looking for the World Cup one similar to this about Iniesta I believe…I only found a few with subtitles while the others are not. Do you know where I can find the whole thing subbed??

      • soccermomof4
        April 1, 2011

        Sorry. Unless it comes out on totalBarca or youtube I’m clueless. J’nice, the master of all things linked, may be able to help. If you ever find it please post the link. I’d love to see it too!

      • Jnice
        April 1, 2011

        You talking about Informe Robinson: Campeones del mundo, right?

        Okay, so Parts 1-3 you can find here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6PiK7J2I_98

        YouTube was giving her trouble, so parts 4-6 are here: /http://vimeo.com/18741569

        You should be all set.

        • soccermomof4
          April 1, 2011

          I told you J’nice is the master of all things linked, the Grand Puba of the webbernet.

  10. blitzen
    April 1, 2011

    Guardiola on Rosell’s comment predicting a 5-0 win in the CdR final:

    “he has given me his arguments, but if you want my opinion, that could have been avoided …

    Oh, snap!

    • soccermomof4
      April 1, 2011

      Rosell should stick to things he knows like…um…you know..those things…um…I got nothing.

      I’m bummed. I just found out that the PT work schedule is gonna keep me from watching several games live. Thank goodness for DVRs.

      7 more hours until I can get rid of this stupid gravatar. I see you got rid of yours early.

      • blitzen
        April 1, 2011

        Yes. Ice cream reminded me of Iniesta’s new sponsorship deal, which inspired me to reinstate this lovely avatar. 😀

        • soccermomof4
          April 1, 2011

          maybe I need to put up drunk Messi to go with Iniesta?!?

    • April 1, 2011

      …..

      If we lose to EE, not that I think we will obviously, it’s down to karmic retribution. Gosh. We fans can say outlandish statements, but official representatives of the club should avoid controversy.

      And I said the same thing when Laporta was president…but I like him much more than RoSELL. I miss him and his smug smirk 🙁

      • blitzen
        April 1, 2011

        And the partying. Don’t forget the partying!

  11. April 1, 2011

    Our April schedule:

    Saturday, April 02 – Villarreal – Barcelona
    Wednesday, April 6 — Barcelona – Shakhtar
    Tuesday, April 10 – Barcelona – Almeria
    Tuesday, April 12 — Shakhtar – Barcelona
    Sunday, April 17 – Real Madrid – Barcelona
    Wednesday, April 20 — Barcelona – Real Madrid
    Sunday, April 24 – Barcelona – Osasuna

    We play EE back to back. And if we beat Shakhtar and they beat Spurs, we play them in the semis!

    Oh @*!#*%#!**&#^$. I don’t think my heart can take it.

  12. Lev
    April 1, 2011

    I think we will see:

    Alves….Pique….Busi…..Adriano

    ……….Mascherano……….
    …….Keita…….Iniesta….

    Bojan…….Messi……Villa

    I would like to see Afellay start in place of Bojan, but I doubt that will happen.

    • April 1, 2011

      Imma stick my head out and say Afellay starts. No real reason behind it; I just feel like he will. Plus, P!! didn’t make the squad and Bojan’s a bit injured so…

      • Lev
        April 1, 2011

        Idk. I don’t understand Guardiola sometimes. Afellay started really well at Barça, but ever since he played a horrible first half against Sporting Gijon Pep has hardly played him.

      • blitzen
        April 1, 2011

        Flyboy has been terrific in his international games this week. You can bet your bottom Euro that Pep was watching those games, and I am predicting he starts in Pedro’s usual spot.

  13. April 1, 2011

    Also, the preview is coming soon! No worries, Isaiah got on that 😉

  14. Lev
    April 1, 2011

    @blitzen yeah head of the youth set up would be cool, but I doubt he will stay with Barça when he leaves. I would not be surprised if he went to Chelsea 🙁

  15. Para
    April 1, 2011

    I don’t know if someone else has posted this or not, but there was a recent interview with Thierry Henry on skysports.

    He largely talks about arsenal (in fact, I don’t think Barca gets mentioned other than in the stats on the right-hand side), but I thought some of you might be interested.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z6FCjKrJT38&feature=related

    (This is a link to part 1–the rest are linked from there).

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