Following the good news about Abidal contract renewal here's another story about this wonderful man. Grab a box of kleenex and get ready to feel even more proud of this team.
A letter written to the Spanish newspaper "La Vanguardia" tells us the beautiful story starring FC Barcelona's French player and a kid affected by a similar tumor to the one Abidal had last year.
The letter explains how much it helped his son to get better, using Abidal as an example.
"You've got in your head, the same thing Abidal had on his liver, and they'll extract it tomorrow", it was the only thing I could say to my 15 year old son, shaken by the terrible news that I had just heard some minutes before. "Dad, buy me Abidal's jersey, I'll fight like him and win my own Champions League", he answered. He didn't cry. He was the only one that didn't do it. He entered the operating theatre with Abidal's jersey and it was hanged on his bed, like a sacred object, during all the time he was in hospital. A week after the operation, coincidentally, I found Abidal, whom I had never seen before, in a store. I explained him our story and showed him pictures of my son on my phone with his shirt on the hospital. I thanked him for the strenght he had given us. "I also want to meet Abidal" my son said when I told him.
After five months of operations, radiotherapy and chemotherapy, last Thursday, January 5th, some Barça players visited the hospital. The players that came to our floor were Puyol, Alexis and Éric Abidal. Thanks to a nurse, Abidal went into his room. He entered the room and gave my son a hug. For the first time, he was crying non-stop. "Vamos, vamos, hermano, I'm here to cheer you up. I'm also fighting against this illness and I'm going to set up a cheerful foundation, and it will make massages to ill children" he told my son.
Affectionate, tender, sympathetic, he hugged my son for ten minutes. We were all emotional and thankful. Before leaving, when we mentioned his watch, he took off his Rolex Daytona, and put it to the boy. "Toma, I want you to keep it. My name's written on the back". It was imposible to make him change his mind. "I don't care how much it costs. I want him to be happy.
We hugged and he continued his way visiting other kids. I looked at my son and I'll never forget the happy face he made. I had almost forgotten it. During the night, he turned on the light several times to look at the engraving of the watch. My wife and I didn't know how to thank Abidal for his kindness and generosity, and the minimum we could do was writing this letter.
Barcelona players' visit encouraged the kids much more than any medicine. This makes Barça més que un club. We admire Pep, Messi, Xavi, Iniesta, Puyol... But Abidal will always be our biggest idol. To us he's more than just a football player. I wish all ill kids to have good health and a big hug to their parents.
J. GARCÍA SERRA