Player Profile – Abidal

November 27, 2007

Eric AbidalFull name: Eric Abidal
Birthplace: Lyon, France
Date of Birth: 11th September 1979
Position: Defender
Height: 186cm
Weight: 75kg

 

Previous Teams: Olympique Lyon, France; Lille, France; Monaco, France; Lyon-La-Duchere, France.

National Squad/Number of Appearances: France/20+

Signed as a replacement for Gio, Abidal is a natural left back although he also has the ability to play as a centre back if necessary. He is considered to combine a good mix of skill, positioning and tactical awareness and is well known for his runs up the wing to support forward players with pinpoint crosses.

Facts:

  • Abidal is of Martinique descent and his move to Barcelona is his first outside of France.
  • During his playing career in France, Abidal was considered one of the best full backs in the country.
  • Abidal claims that his role is to infuriate players so much that they get sick of the sight of him and go off to play somewhere else on the pitch.
  • Abidal couldn’t take his traditional number 20 shirt at Barca as that is reserved for Deco so he now wears the number 22 shirt.
  • Lyon stand to get a 500,000EURO payout if Barca win the Champions League in the next four years as part of the deal to sign the player.
  • Barca faced stiff competition from Arsenal to sign the player in the summer.
  • Despite interest from Italian clubs the defender refused moves to Italy as he felt that Italian football was too racist following a clash with Daniele De Rossi in a Champions League match.
  • The player is a recent convert to Islam and has taken the Muslim name Bilal.
  • During his time with Olympique Lyon Abidal won the French league (2004-5, 2005-6, 2006-7) and the French Cup of Champions (2004-5, 2005-6).
  • The player was a member of the French team that were runners up in the 2006 World Cup.
  • Abidal is contracted to Barcelona on a four-year deal.

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