Eric Abidal: Former Barcelona and France defender retires

Eric Abidal announces retirement
Eric Abidal was thrown into the air by his Barcelona team-mates at the end of his last match in June 2013

Former Barcelona and France defender Eric Abidal will retire from professional football after 14 seasons.

Abidal, 35, joined Greek side Olympiakos in the summer and is set to conclude his career this Saturday in a league match against Kalloni AEL.

He revealed he has been offered coaching roles from both Barcelona and Olympiakos following his announcement.

"I depart for personal reasons. Only a professional player knows when and how he has to retire," he said.

"I will relax with my family and my friends. I have two offers, from Olympiakos and Barcelona, and I will think about these and take my decision."

Best known for his six-year spell with Spanish champions Barcelona, whom he joined in 2007 and made 193 appearances, Abidal helped steer the club to European domination, winning the Champions League in 2009 and 2011 as well as four La Liga titles.

The Frenchman, capped 67 times for his country, was diagnosed with a liver tumour in March 2011 and two months after surgery he rejoined the squad to captain Barca to the Champions League title at Wembley.

The following year Abidal received a liver transplant due to unresolved problems from the previous operation - he spent the rest of the season returning to full health.

After his spell at Barcelona, Abidal rejoined his first professional club Monaco in 2013 for a season before signing for Olympiakos in July.

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