Abidal to stay at Barcelona until 2013

January 17th, 2012 - 4:50 pm ICT by IANS  

Madrid, Jan 17 (IANS) FC Barcelona have announced an agreement to extend the contract of French international left-back Eric Abidal till 2013.

Abidal’s original contract was due to expire at the end of June and the club and player have been locked in conversations to extend the deal for many months, Xinhua reported Monday.

The defender’s new deal will keep him at the Nou Camp till 2013 but includes clauses to extend it for a further two seasons depending on the number of games he plays next season.

Abidal has made 177 first team appearances for Barcelona and gained sympathy of the Catalan fans after being diagnosed with a liver tumour. He recovered before the end of last season and his team-mates showed their affection for the 32-year-old when he collected the Champions League trophy after Barca’s 3-1 win in last May’s final against Manchester United.

The news of Abidal’ s new deal is a perfect morale boost for Barcelona ahead of their Copa del Rey quarterfinal first leg against Real Madrid Wednesday.

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