OFFICIAL: Éric Abidal completes return to Monaco | inside World Soccer

Former Barcelona defender Éric Abidal has signed a one-year contract with his first professional club AS Monaco.

New Monaco signing Éric Abidal poses with sporting director Vadim Vasilyev
New Monaco signing Éric Abidal poses with sporting director Vadim Vasilyev


After bidding a tearful farewell to Barcelona, the 33-year-old had been on the look-out for a new club and made no secret of his openness to a return to France.

Abidal began his professional career with Monaco in 2000 before moving to Lille and later moved to bigger European clubs, and now returns to where his career originally began.

"I am very happy to return to Monaco, because this is where I started at 19," Abidal told reporters.

"I want to thank the president and the leaders of the club for trusting in me. It was difficult for them after doubts surrounding my physical condition.

"Monaco are not a great club of the future, they were already a great club with great players when I was there 13 years ago. Also, they did not play in the Champions League final (in 2004) by chance."

Abidal becomes the latest big-name signing at Monaco, who have already signed Jérémy Toulalan, Radamel Falcao, James Rodríguez, João Moutinho, and Ricardo Carvalho this summer.

The 33-year-old added: "Ricardo Carvalho played for Real Madrid and Falcao for Atlético Madrid when I was in Barcelona, but the key thing is that Falcao is a great player - he was not wrong in coming here.

"We will do everything to help him score goals. The objective is to win Ligue 1 and qualify for the Champions League."


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