Barcelona star Abidal returns to training after liver transplant
October 10, 2012 -- Updated 1404 GMT (2204 HKT)
French defender Eric Abidal moved to Barcelona from Lyon in 2007.
- Barcelona defender Eric Abidal returns to training
- The French left-back has been out for seven months following a liver transplant
- Abidal has been at Barca since 2007 and has twice won the European Champions League
- He was part of the French squad which lost to Italy in the 2006 World Cup final
(CNN) -- Barcelona defender Eric Abidal returned to training Wednesday after seven months on the sidelines following a liver transplant.
The 33-year-old was delighted to be back in action as he told the official website of the Catalan giants.
"I've been thinking about training will the ball for a long time," the 33-year-old said. "Today is the first day. I'm tired, but happy. I think from now on my path to recovery will go well."
The world of football was stunned when Abidal was diagnosed with a liver tumor in May 2011, but he made a remarkable recovery to reclaim his place in the first team squad at the Camp Nou.
But further complications arose in March which necessitated the transplant operation and another lengthy spell of rehabilitation.
Abidal, hugely popular with the Barca fans, began his career with Monaco before moving to Lille in 2002. It was after leaving Lille to join Lyon in 2004 that he rose to prominence.
Mourinho on the enigma of Balotelli
Mourinho on managing star players
Blog: Does international soccer need a shake up?
Following three French First Division triumphs Abidal moved to Barcelona in June 2007.
Since moving to Spain, Abidal has collected a host of honors.
He was a part of the Barca squad which won three consecutive La Liga titles between 2009 and 2011.
Abidal has collected a Cop del Rey winner's medal on two occasions and helped Barca clinch European Champions League glory in 2009 and 2011.
In addition to his achievements at club level, Abidal has collected 61 caps for France.
He was part of the Les Bleus squad which finished as runners-up at the 2006 FIFA World Cup.
Today's five most popular stories
Part of complete coverage on
October 21, 2014 -- Updated 1348 GMT (2148 HKT)
From the ancient ruins of Rome, a new empire rises. But the eyes of the city's newest gladiator light up at thoughts of the Colosseum.
October 21, 2014 -- Updated 1622 GMT (0022 HKT)
Once part of Germany's largest Jewish sports club, now he's the first ISIS suspect to stand trial in a country left shocked by his alleged radicalization.
October 17, 2014 -- Updated 1411 GMT (2211 HKT)
One goal in eight matches for new club Liverpool, and dumped by the Italian national team -- Mario Balotelli has yet to shine on his English return.
October 18, 2014 -- Updated 1819 GMT (0219 HKT)
Should a convicted rapist, who has served their time in prison, be allowed to resume their old job? What if that job was as a high-profile football player?
October 16, 2014 -- Updated 1247 GMT (2047 HKT)
After 10 years of golden glory, it's easy to see how Lionel Messi has taken his place among the football gods.
October 16, 2014 -- Updated 1034 GMT (1834 HKT)
When will the tears stop? A leading Italian football club is pursuing a new direction -- under the guidance of its new Indonesian owner.
October 13, 2014 -- Updated 2241 GMT (0641 HKT)
Norwegian 15-year-old Martin Odegaard is the youngest player ever to feature in a European Championships qualifying match.
October 10, 2014 -- Updated 1310 GMT (2110 HKT)
After revolutionizing cricket with its glitzy Twenty20 league, India has now thrown large sums of money at a new football venture.
October 2, 2014 -- Updated 1453 GMT (2253 HKT)
Get ruthless. That is Rio Ferdinand's message to soccer's authorities in the fight to tackle the scourge of racism.
September 10, 2014 -- Updated 1328 GMT (2128 HKT)
He's just 15 and the world is seemingly already at his feet. Norway's Martin Odegaard is being sought by Europe's top clubs.