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Eric Abidal announces retirement 'for personal reasons'

Eric Abidal announces retirement 'for personal reasons'

Former France and Barcelona defender Abidal, who returned to playing after undergoing a liver transplant in 2012, announced he was ending his career for 'personal reasons'.

Athens: Former France and Barcelona defender Eric Abidal, who returned to playing after undergoing a liver transplant in April 2012, announced on Friday he was ending his career for 'personal reasons'.

Abidal, 35, made 67 appearances for France and last featured in a World Cup qualifier against Ukraine in November 2013.

He had stints at clubs including Barcelona, Olympique Lyonnais, Monaco, and, most recently, Olympiakos Piraeus, and played in the Greek club's 2-0 Super League win at home to Panionios on Wednesday.

"Today I announce my decision to end my career here at Olympiakos," Abidal told a news conference in Athens.

"The reasons are personal," he added. "Every top-level player understands that there comes a time and my time has come."

With Barca, Abidal won the Champions League in 2009 and 2011, as well as four La Liga titles, and was runner-up with France at the 2006 World Cup.

He said there was a possibility he will join the Barca or Olympiakos coaching staff in some capacity but would first take a break to spend time with his family.

"Now what I want to do is rest and enjoy spending time with my family and then I will take some decisions as far as my future is concerned," Abidal said.

first published:December 19, 2014, 20:43 IST