Eric Abidal has been forced to defend Lionel Messi after quotes about the Argentine No10 were taken out of context.
Earlier this week, Spanish news outlet Marca published quotes from the retired French left-back relating to his time suffering with cancer in 2011.
Abidal had been diagnosed with liver cancer and, while absent from the squad so he could receive treatment, sent a video of support to his team-mates before a game.
Marca’s article contained the quote: “I was very thin and before a game, I made a video to send to the players to cheer them up and send support.
“Do you know what Messi told me? Don’t send us things like that anymore because it hurts us.
“I didn’t see it like that, I was trying to encourage them but they told me they saw me like a corpse and it left them upset.”
Following the article’s publication, many fans criticised Messi’s actions, calling them ‘insensitive’ and ‘selfish.’
Abidal has since tweeted a clarification which suggests his original quotes were either misrepresented, mistranslated, or taken out of context.
The tweet reads: “Clarification: When I sent the video to encourage the team, Leo Messi never told me not to send them more things like that.
“Leo told me they did not like to see me like that, but at no time did he have bad words for me.”
You would hope Abidal’s follow-up message will put an end to any criticism of Messi relating to this situation.
Dani Alves offered to donate his liver to Abidal but the Frenchman turned down the generous offer, explaining that the Brazilian also had a family and a career to consider.
Abidal recovered from cancer, not once, but twice, and has been given a hero’s reception at the Nou Camp ever since.
He and Messi and remain friends to this day.