Monaco announces Abidal deal

Monaco announces Abidal deal

MONACO - Agence France-Presse
Monaco announces Abidal deal

Abidal has gained a heroic status at Barça after his battle with cancer. REUTERS photo

French international defender Eric Abidal has signed a one-year contract with Ligue 1 newcomers Monaco, the big-spending principality club said yesterday.

The 33-year-old, who left Spanish La Liga champions Barcelona at the end of last season following six years in Catalonia, has an option for a second season.

It is a return to Monte Carlo for Abidal, having spent two seasons there at the beginning of the last decade. The former Lille and Lyon player underwent a liver transplant in 2012 and only made his comeback to competitive football in April earlier this year.

Abidal had said he wanted to remain at Barça but the Catalan giants decided against offering him a new deal.

“It’s very emotional, it’s huge. After what I’ve been through, it wasn’t easy to find a club with confidence in me,” Abidal told Monaco’s website.

He has played 61 times for France and joins a host of new signings at the club owner by Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev. Another French international Jeremy Toulalan joined from Malaga while Ricardo Carvalho from Real Madrid, Moutinho and James Rodriguez from Porto and Falcao from Atletico Madrid have all already moved to the principality.