World Cup 2014

Abidal eyeing World Cup berth

August 13, 2013
By ESPN staff

Eric Abidal has set his sights on next year's World Cup after being selected to play for France for the first time since returning from illness.

Eric Abidal
GettyImagesAbidal will make his international comeback against Belgium.

Abidal is preparing for his first full season since undergoing treatment for liver cancer in 2011, experiencing a successful pre-season with new club Monaco which earned him a place in Wednesday's friendly against Belgium..

The 33-year-old will start for Les Bleus and insists his ambition is to continue his comeback with a spot in the squad for Brazil. 

"I never had any hope for this after what I went through during two years," Abidal said. "I am very proud to come back in this squad, to wear the blue jersey, which is so important for me again.

"I'm not going to say that being back with France was my first goal. Since it ended with Barca, a lot of things have happened. I'm very happy, I'm enjoying life, I want to have fun on the pitch. After all I've been through, I can only be happy to be able to play.

"I take things day by day. If I have fun with Monaco and if we have a good season, I will definitely stay with Les Bleus. And I hope I'll go to Brazil."

France coach Didier Deschamps revealed his plans for Abidal in the friendly.

"After including him in the squad, it would seem logical to me that he starts, considering what he represents," he said. "I can't see myself calling up a player like him, with his experience, and telling him: 'You're coming to breathe Clairefontaine's air."

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