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02.08.2008 19:01

Abidal delighted with the physical work

David Saura (enviat especial)

Éric Abidal has been delighted with Pep Guardiola's emphasis on physical fitness in pre-season training, but also praised the new coach for his tactical prowess too.

At the start of his second season at the club, the French international is now accustomed to the pace and demands of the Spanish League, but has had to readapt after spending his first season under Frank Rijkaard. "There a lot of changes with the new coach and that could be better for the club," Abidal said.

Defence and attack

abidal-fiore-fcb_x4x.jpg"We are doing different work from last season," he continued. "The tactics of the coach are also very good. But we still have to work hard to achieve what we all want. He asks us to go forward together and to defend together. Last year we had more forward players and now we think defensively too. The atmosphere is great though, just like it was last season."

Physical work

QM3D4076.jpgAnother of the key features in pre-season has been the intense physical work and that has pleased Abidal. "the exercises are different," he continued. "For me it is important to work more on this. Last I did well for six month, but then the second six months were not so good. This year we have to work harder in order to ensure that the whole season goes well."

Compatibility with Alves

The arrival of Dani Alves could have seen Barcelona opt to change their system at the back, but Abidal has revealed that Guardiola has not done that. "Pep has not asked me to change my style of play," he stated. Like Dani Alves, I also go forward. We have to go forward down both flanks."
Abidal delighted with the physical work

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Thuram’s retirement
Éric Abidal reflected on Lilian Thuram's decision to retire from football this week after being diagnosed with a heart problem by doctors at Paris Saint-Germain. "It has been very difficult for him because he loves to play football," he said. "He has had an impressive career. He wanted to play on for two or three more years though. We all know the quality that he still had. But now is the best time to stop to avoid any heart problems."

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