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French defender takes to the pitch amid rapturous applause from the supporters of the Catalan giants at Camp Nou

Defender Eric Abidal has played his first game for Barcelona since recovering from tumour surgery as he came on in the dying minutes against Real Madrid on Tuesday evening.

The French left-back had not played since mid-March after the discovery of a tumour on his liver. The 31-year-old subsequently underwent surgery to have it removed and was included in the Champions League squad against Madrid by coach Pep Guardiola.

Abidal came on as a substitute for fellow defender Carles Puyol in the first minute of injury time in Barca’s 1-1 draw with their arch-rivals in the second-leg of their semi-final tie. His return to the pitch at Camp Nou was welcomed loudly by the Catalan club’s supporters.

Barcelona won the tie 3-1 on aggregate after having defeated Madrid 2-0 in the first-leg at the Bernabeu last week.

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