Alves confirms offer of liver to Abidal
ESPN FC Extra Time
Dani Alves has confirmed he offered to donate part of his liver to Eric Abidal when his former Barcelona team-mate needed a life-saving transplant and had been willing to sacrifice his own playing career if that had been required.
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Abidal said recently that Alves had made the suggestion ahead of the operation carried out in April 2002.
The Brazilian defender, 30, told Lance in his home country that his own future career had not been important beside the need to return Abidal to full health.
“My wish was only to help him, for the admiration that I have for Eric, for the affection I have for his family,” Alves said. “It is obvious that there was a risk. But it is not completely correct that I would have had to leave football because of the donation. It was a risk, but when life is in the balance, football is the least important thing. God would give you strength and other things to do outside of football.”
In the end, Abidal’s cousin Gerard provided part of his own liver for the operation, which was completed successfully. The French defender has now recovered fully, and is currently featuring regularly for Monaco in Ligue 1 and for his national side in World Cup qualifiers.
Barca’s decision not to offer Abidal, 34, a further extension of his playing contract at the Camp Nou last summer has angered some in Catalonia, and Alves is this season wearing his friend’s former No. 22 shirt as a tribute.