Abidal: Messi still a Barca legend even if he leaves
Former Barca defender Eric Abidal says Argentine star's standing at the club is cast in stone
He was a dynamic defender for Barcelona and France, collecting 67 international caps during his career.
In 2013, Eric Abidal made headlines when he made a comeback to play professional football just 14 months after a liver transplant.
The Frenchman, 37, spoke to the media yesterday, when he was in Singapore for the unveiling of a four-year partnership between Nestle Milo and Barcelona, in a deal which aims to promote a healthy lifestyle among children worldwide.
You played for Barcelona from 2007 to 2013. Do you think Barcelona are still the best club in the world?
ABIDAL: Yes, because success is not just about trophies. Success is the story, the present, the future, how you work in a team, your values as a player.
In Barcelona, our values are about hard work and passion, not everything is about winning.
Barcelona still can be the best club in the world in the future as well.
Because, in this world, impossible is nothing.Eric Abidal, on returning to play pro football after a liver transplant
Do you think Lionel Messi will sign a new deal and end his career with Barcelona?
I think the world already has an answer, he told the papers recently that Barcelona gave him a lot.
He said he will stay with Barca if Barca still need him, right?
Some players may want to change, some might not. Even I changed teams. Messi never changed.
Messi will remain a legend of Barca, having won so many things for the club, whether or not he signs a new deal.
Barcelona haven't been firing on all cylinders this season. Is anything wrong?
What I can tell you is, we all learn from criticism.
Like what I said, success is not only about the trophies and the awards, and you can't say this season has been difficult, because every season is tough.
But, everyone only remembers the end of the season.
If you're a Barcelona fan, you might not have remembered the first season even, but you will definitely remember the seasons when they won and did well.
The club still have many more league games to play and in football, anything and everything is possible.
What is your take on Frenchman Dimitri Payet refusing to play for West Ham?
There are always players who want to change clubs and players who would rather stay with their clubs.
There is nothing wrong with either option. Maybe he wants to experience something new.
But, communication is important. He will have to speak to his club to negotiate for an option where he can show his capability and talent.
What do you think about Fifa's plans to expand the World Cup to 48 teams?
For me, what is most important is the level of the game, the level of play and the matches.
This gives many other countries an opportunity to play in possibly the best competition in the world.
You've been considered a beacon of hope to those who are recovering from diseases and injuries. How did you deal with your ordeal and what advice do you have for them?
First of all, this is my take on things, I think everyone has two lives - a professional one and a private life.
When you fall ill, for me, it becomes something of your private life.
During my illness, my professional life was on point, but my private life was deteriorating.
My goal was to be better, for my wife, my daughters and my parents and after that, I told myself the professional life might go back to where it was or it might not, but my focus was on my private life.
So, my advice is, believe in yourself, trust your body, trust in God, fight. Because, in this world, impossible is nothing.