The latest Italian edition of GQ magazine has an extensive article on Eric Abidal and his fight against liver cancer. He has the scar as a reminder to those days in January when he was first diagnosed with the life threatening condition which kept him out of the sport as he underwent surgery and chemotherapy.
There was a time when his return looked extremely doubtful but Abidal kept faith and in May he returned to training after four months. A month later the world got to celebrate a heart warming moment when Abidal came onto the pitch for the Champions League final. Even Man Utd fans put aside their bitter disappointment to share in the spectacle.
Abidal says, " I played the game of my life and I beat the disease. The tumour played a solitary game, I played on a team. Without the help of family, the fans, other patients and friends, this would not have happened."
An apt footballing analogy and one Abidal has obviously internalized playing for a club that does wondrous deeds valuing the collective over the individual.