AS Monaco FC have added yet another big name to their list of summer recruits with the signing of former France and FC Barcelona defender Éric Abidal on a free transfer.
The 34-year-old returns to the club where he started his professional career in 2000 after his contract expired at Barça, with whom he won two UEFA Champions League titles in a six-year spell. "There are a lot of emotions, and it is a return to my roots, as I started here," Abidal said after joining the newly-promoted Ligue 1 club. "I am happy to make my return 13 years on.
"The club has grown. They were Ligue 2 champions last year, with a group of young players who worked hard to earn promotion to the elite. Sharing my experience and helping the younger players pretty much sums up my career, and I am very happy to be able to do it here in Monaco."
Abidal originally left for LOSC Lille in 2002, before winning three titles in three years at Olympique Lyonnais. Four Liga titles and two Copa del Rey victories followed after moving to Barcelona, along with the European triumphs, but health issues, which culminated in a successful liver transplant in April 2012, limited his involvement in the final seasons. The 61-time capped France international joins a list including Falcao, Jérémy Toulalan, João Moutinho, James Rodríguez and Ricardo Carvalho who have moved to the club this summer.
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