Messi's message to Abidal: You're an example to me and I hope to see you soon

The Blaugrana forward and a number of his team-mates have contributed to a book aimed at keeping the defender's spirits up as he embarks on the long road to recovery
Lionel Messi is one of several Barcelona players to have sent a message of support to Eric Abidal as he continues his recovery from a liver transplant.

The France international is facing an uncertain future in the game after being forced to go under the knife last month, but his Blaugrana team-mates have moved to keep his spirits up by expressing their love and admiration for him in a book put together by France 2.

"Just to say that you're an example for me," Messi wrote. "Great strength [to you] and I hope to see you soon in the dressing room. I love you!"

The Argentine attacker's sentiments were echoed by compatriot Javier Mascherano, who considers Abidal far more than just a team-mate.

"Abi, even though I have known you less than two years, you have given me the opportunity to be your friend and being friends with a person like you is something I attach great value to," the former Liverpool midfielder explained. "You are an example to us all. I love you."

Former France internationals Thierry Henry and Zinedine Zidane, and Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal also penned messages of support for Abidal.