Friday, May 6, 2011

Glad that Eric Abidal is back

This article (with some minor alterations) can be found on the Soccer Central Philippines website.

Taken from Getty Images via Yahoo! Sports

Lost in the limelight of FC Barcelona's 1-1 draw against Real Madrid (and 3-1 aggregate final score) in the 2nd leg of the UEFA Champions' League semi-final was the entry of Eric Abidal as a substitute. It occurred in the 89th minute, replacing Carles Puyol. That substitution spawned massive cheers and celebrations around the Camp Nou.

For those who were unaware, Abidal or "Abi", a French international defender, underwent emergency surgery for a liver tumor last March. His appearance in the 5th and final El Clasico of the season was his first game back since the removal of the growth. Last Monday, he rejoined the Catalan club and current La Liga leaders for full training after six weeks of rest and recuperation, a welcome presence knowing that his fellow defenders Maxwell and Adriano were both unavailable for the 2nd leg. It may only have been three minutes of game action, but those three minutes were very much cherished for Abi as he is finally back in his field of dreams.

During his absence, his fellow footballers and football fans worldwide were full of tributes wishing him well for his full recovery, from posters to shirts to tweets of support, they all want him to be back on the field as soon as he can .

With the Champions League trophy in sight at the hallowed ground of Wembley on May 28 (and the possibility of a Cup Double), the back line of FC Barcelona just got better in the most opportune time, as they prepare from an onslaught of offense from the likes of Rooney, Hernandez, Berbatov, and Giggs.

With all the bad blood and besmirched reputations and allegations that marred this semifinal, Eric Abidal's return to the pitch is a glimmer of hope and positivity in football.

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