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The pair were apparently close during the Sweden international's season-long stay in Catalunya and the forward is praying that the Frenchman's liver transplant is a success

AC Milan forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic has sent former Barcelona team-mate Eric Abidal a message of support as the Frenchman prepares to undergo a liver transplant.

The defender's future in the game is in doubt after it emerged earlier this month that he must go under the knife again, just a year after having a tumour removed from his liver.

Ibrahimovic had reportedly given Blaugrana midfielder Seydou Keita a signed shirt to pass on to Abidal after Wednesday's Champions League clash between Milan and Barca and the Swede, who spent a season at Camp Nou, has now publicly voiced his support for his old colleague.

"I hope that Abidal's operation will go perfectly well and I hope that he gets everything he needs in order to be healthy," the Rossoneri forward told reporters on Friday.

Ibrahimovic and Abidal are said to have enjoyed a close friendship during the Swede's one-year stay in Catalunya between 2009 and 2010.

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