Éric Abidal: Dani Alves offered me his liver

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The best soccer teams exhibit bonds between teammates that go deeper than the playing field.

Former FC Barcelona defender Éric Abidal, who resumed playing full-time in April after a successful transplant, said Dani Alves offered to donate his liver to his ill teammate.

In an interview with Catalunya Radio, in which Abidal also said he would likely return to Barcelona after his playing days to coach, the Frenchman demonstrated that just how deep the sentiment of togetherness and brotherhood on a soccer team can go.

From AS in English:

My relationship with Dani goes much further than him taking my old No. 22 shirt. When I had to undergo surgery, he offered to donate his liver. Of course, it’s completely out of the question because he is a professional footballer. Our relationship goes much deeper than friendship.

Abidal’s return to top-flight soccer has been nothing short of miraculous, as he has played every minute of AS Monaco’s five league matches in the young 2013-14 season. He moved back to Monaco, where his professional career began 13 years ago, in the summer.

He has also played every minute in France’s two most recent World Cup qualifiers, a 0-0 tie in Georgia and a 4-2 win in Belarus. Although Abidal’s career may be nearing its end, as he only signed with Monaco on a one-year deal with a one-year option, he has returned to the peak of the sport after a life-threatening illness.