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31.05.2011 13:41

Abidal, 150 games

Sandra Sarmiento

The French defender’s appearance in the Champions League final was his 150th for the first team. This season he played 41 games and scored one goal.

Abidal, 150 games

It was one of the images that summarises to perfection what a wonderful team this is. Abidal with the trophy in his hands and celebrating the title just a matter of weeks after an operation for a liver tumour.

Abidal started the game at Wembley, and it all finished with a fairy tale ending. Nobody had imagined he would be back in time to play in this game. Only him. He knew he always had the will, the energy and the vitality to overcome the most difficult challenge of his life and be back in time for the Champions League final 2011, which also happened to be his 150th game in four seasons at Barça.

At his best

Of the 41 games he played this season, 26 were in the league, 8 in the Champions League, 5 in the Copa del Rey and 2 in the Spanish Super Cup.

2011-05-28_PARTIDO_20.JPGIn fact, since returning from such a serious illness, Abidal has looked, if anything, even better than ever. There has been no doubting that he was ready to play, and this has won the hearts of every Barça fan. This season, he has played more often than not in the unfamiliar position of centre back, where he has proven quick and brave, effective at moving the ball into play and excellent at covering for the full backs. His crowning glory was a goal at San Mamés in the Copa del Rey, which will be remembered as one of the high points of his year.

Second most appearances in a season

Abidal played 46 matches in his first season at Barça, 2007/08. In the treble winning year he played 32 matches and last year appeared in 31. Despite his illness, in 2010/11 he played in as many as 41 games.

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