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30.09.2008 18:55

Abidal gets self-critical

Jordi Clos

The French international has said that he is working hard in training in order to be able to offer the optimum performance. He hopes we will see the very best of him on Wednesday night in Donetsk.

Éric Abidal, who may make his first appearance of the present Champions League group stage on Wednesday, was the player chosen to speak to the press in the Ukraine, following Pep Guardiola’s intervention. The left back spoke sincerely about the way the season has gone so far. “Last year I said the fitness training was different to what it had been like in France, but all that has changed this season” he said.

There has been much debate in the media as to what he might have to offer the team, Abidal himself admitting that “I am sure I am not at my best level, I don’t know why not, but I am working very hard in training and hope to be at one hundred per cent tomorrow.”

Getting on fine

DONETSK_x6x.jpgÉric Abidal’s Spanish is getting better by the day, and he explained that he finds life with the Barça squad very different to what he was used to in France. One of the biggest differences is the relationship between team mates. He compared the team to “a family”, but did admit that aside from professional commitments, French teams do tend to spend more time socialising together. Nevertheless, he insisted that “it is not matter that affects my performances.”

A difficult opponent

After four wins in a row, the defender hopes to add another against Donetsk, before another important league clash. “The Champions League is a totally different competition. We won our first game and that was important because points are hard to get here, and it will also be a big test before we meet Atlético Madrid.” On Shakhtar, he said “I don’t know all the players, but they have been playing in the Champions League for several years. They have experienced footballers and it will be a very difficult game.”
Abidal gets self-critical
Faith in Henry
Quizzed about Thierry Henry’s role at Barcelona, Éric Abidal pointed out that “he is a player who has been in France, Italy and England. Perhaps he is missing some happiness off the pitch, but I think he’s enjoying himself on it.” He added that “like last season, he’ll score a lot of goals.”

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