Giovanni van Bronckhorst: Barcelona's Eric Abidal is a winner both on and off the pitch

The ex-Camp Nou stopper has praised his fellow left-back for his spirited recovery after illness, the Frenchman recovering in time to play in the vital match.
Dutch World Cup finalist Giovanni van Bronckhorst has praised Eric Abidal for returning from liver surgery to play his part in Barcelona’s La Liga win.

The left-back was diagnosed with a serious health issue in the new year and spent months on the sidelines, but recovered from his ordeal in time to take to the pitch for the close of the Spanish campaign.

Now the Dutchman has singled Abidal out for his courage in returning to play in Barca's 1-1 draw with Levante that saw them win the title.

He told Sport, “What can you say about Abidal? Nothing that hasn't already been said. I'm happy for him and the team. He is a footballer who has become respected worldwide. He's a winner, on and off the field, and he has won the most difficult match.”

The former Catalan defender also spoke of his jubilation when the final whistle blew and Barcelona had guaranteed another La Liga title, adding, "I embraced him with all my friends, and also with people who I'd never seen in my life."

Barcelona drew 1-1 with Levante away from home to guarantee their third straight La Liga title. Pep Guardiola’s men are the first team to win three La Liga titles in succession since 1993, and this season have lost conceded 20 goals in 36 games.

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