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The 33-year-old joined from Barcelona this summer and says he is at an age where he is ready to lead the side, while he is also aiming to qualify for the Champions League

Eric Abidal says he is relishing wearing the captain's armband for Monaco this season, as his side look to mount a serious title challenge in Ligue 1.

The 33-year-old, who re-joined Monaco from Barcelona this summer, only returned to football in April after a liver transplant and he feels the time is right to lead the team.

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"I'm very happy. I'm ready and full of desire and I will try to show that on the pitch," Abidal told FIFA.com.

"At 33, I must take on my role and I'm ready to do so. I spoke to the coach. I like to give, without necessarily receiving. If the others are happy, if we win, then I will be very happy."

Monaco spent a reported £124 million on new players this summer, including Abidal, Radamel Falcao, James Rodriguez and Joao Moutinho, and the Frenchman believes Champions League qualification is imperative in the coming campaign.

"We'll have to give it our all to make our ambitions reality as this season will be difficult," he added.

"Given the players we have recruited, we are expected to do so. We will indeed be favourites sometimes, but in football this word doesn't exist."

Finally, Abidal spoke about his chances of returning to the French national side, who he made his debut for in 2004, with the 2014 World Cup looming on the horizon.

"In order to hope to return to the French team, certain steps have to happen, and I need to play matches," he continued.

"It would be nice to have it as a goal but I don't like to speak too quickly. I want to prove myself before thinking more about it."

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