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Abidal says feels fit, keen to play

BARCELONA, Spain, December 28 – Barcelona defender Eric Abidal says he feels fit and is keen to play again in an interview broadcast Thursday, eight months after he underwent a liver transplant.

“I feel good,” the 33-year-old French international told Barcelona-based TV3 television.

“The truth is that it’s been a long time since they operated on me. It has been eight months and I have fought a lot and I carry on fighting,” said Abidal, who returned to training with the team last week.

“It is difficult but my spirits are still high and I am keen to fight and come back.”

Abidal had the liver transplant operation on April 10 just over a year after a tumour was removed from his liver in March 2011.

His return to training with the team on December 19 was overshadowed, however, by an announcement on the same day that Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova’s cancer had returned.

Surgeons operated on a cancer in Vilanova’s salivary gland the following day. The 44-year-old Barca coach was released from hospital on Saturday and has about six weeks of radiotherapy and chemotherapy ahead of him.

“Tito and I have lived through similar things, I imagine we think differently from the others,” Abidal said.

“I don’t like to talk a lot but without saying anything he knows what I think and I know what he thinks,” the player said. “I make an effort for myself, but for him too.”

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Abidal said he never considered quitting the game.

“I never thought of stopping playing because football, apart from my family, is my whole life.”

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