I have just found today that the great French footballer, Eric Abidal, who plays for the best club team in the world (yes indeed, Real fans), Barcelona, is to undergo a liver transplant.
I was aware he had a tumour a year or so ago, had an operation, but magically returned to help Barcelona lift the European Cup last year.
But obviously, the signs are still there and transplant is the only option.
He is expected to undergo the operation in a few weeks. Presumably (or not) the seriousness of his condition puts him at the top of the list and has nothing to do with the enormous amount of cash he has. Staggeringly, they are reporting that this has put his participation at the forthcoming European Championships in doubt.
Eh, I’ll say.
They start in June – it would be truly wonderful if he could be ready to play a part in the tournament given that it will likely be less than 3 months since his operation – then you’ll all accuse me of making a mountain out of a molehill in the pages of this blog.
But I do so hope he makes it. I hope he makes it through the operation. And I hope he makes it through to be able to play professional football at the top flight again – that would be a truly remarkable achievement and would give this footballer a chance to raise awareness for the cause of liver disease around the world – and the corresponding urgent need for voluntary donors for transplantation.
Ironic isn’t it that a footballer could have such an influence in this field – given that the one man in history who has done so much damage to the cause of liver transplants was also a footballer – George Best.
Such a high profile figure he was. Arguably the most famous footballer ever – yet he was as famous for his alcohol abuse as much as his football. Famous for (allegedly) jumping the queue to receive a liver transplant caused by his alcohol abuse, and then (allegedly) went on to abuse his new liver leading to his untimely death.
The effect of his actions led people then, and now, to believe that giving money to a liver charity was a pointless activity, as it was only going to help people who do not want to help themselves and who bring the disease upon themselves.
Wasn’t the case with me.
Isn’t the case with many.
Certainly not the case with Eric Abidal.
I wish you all the very best, Eric, for a successful operation and a return to greatness – and I hope you will do what you can to show that a footballer can create a more positive awareness for liver disease around the world.
wish you well, eric abidal