The pair formed a firm friendship while they played alongside one another at Barcelona and Abidal recently revealed that the Brazilian had made the ultimate gesture of offering to sacrifice a portion of the organ to help get him back to full health.
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The 30-year-old said: "My desire was only to help, because of the admiration I have for Eric, for the love I have for his family. When a life is at stake, the game remains in the background.
"Clearly there was a risk. It's not quite true that I would have to leave football for the donation. There was a risk, but when a life is at stake, football is not important."
"From God I have the strength and intelligence to have alternatives and can live even without football. If I had to do that [donate part of his liver] to save a life, God would open other doors."
Abidal's cousin Gerard came to the defender's rescue by donating part of his liver in April 2012, but the Frenchman wasn't offered a new deal by Barcelona after returning to full fitness at the end of last season.
However, several clubs across Europe made a move for his services, with the 30-year-old eventually deciding to join Monaco on a free transfer earlier this summer.