Puyol on Éric Abidal: “This will make us even stronger”
The FC Barcelona Captain, Carles Puyol, stated that Abidal is “in good spirits”. “He’s a strong person”, he added. “He showed strength last season and he’ll do it again now” insisted Puyol. Besides, the Barça captain doesn’t have a particular preference regarding the Champions League draw and playing against Real Madrid. Finally, he underlined that Guardiola’s decision on his contract renewal has to be respected.
Barcelona (FCB).- \u201CIt's a heavy blow\u201D. That's how the FC Barcelona captain, Carles Puyol, described the news that teammate Éric Abidal will be having a liver transplant within the next few weeks in a press conference held this Thursday. Puyol insisted however that the Frenchman is: \u201Cin good spirits\u201D and that his attitude has helped lift the rest of the squad. \u201CWe are sure he'll come through this and we are giving him all our strength. We'll be by his side and by his family's. I'm convinced that he will be fine again soon\u201D, stated Puyol.
Puyol explained that Barça players received the news this Thursday morning just before training began: \u201Cjust before we went out to start the session, the boss told us the news - it was an unpleasant surprise. Éric was there with us and afterwards we spoke with him, but what we said will be staying amongst ourselves. It's really him who has lifted us \u2013 he's so strong as he showed last season and I'm sure he'll show that again now\u201D.
Abidal\u2019s \u201Cattitude is an example to us all\u201D, said Puyol
For Puyol: \u201Cthings like this bring us all even closer together - the squad is strong and united, as I said, his attitude is an example to us all. It's a heavy blow. We had the same thing last year and we got through \u2013 we'll do it again and that will make us stronger\u201D.
Turning to this Saturday Spanish League game at Seville\u2019s Sánchez Pizjuán, Puyol explained: \u201Cwe aim to prepare every game and win every week. Seville will be a tough test, but we are really up for it\u201D.
Champions League draw
Tomorrow's Champions League draw brought a number of questions for Puyol, who explained he had no particular preference: \u201Cevery team who is there have made it this far on their own merits \u2013 there are no easy rivals in the quarter finals. I honestly don't have any particular preference, let's just wait and see what the draw throws up\u201D.
Naturally enough, the press wanted to know what the Barça captain thinks about another possible meeting with Real Madrid and Puyol answered: \u201Cit's clear that Real Madrid and Barça are two strong teams in the Champions League, but this competition is always tough and anybody can have an off day. We'll just wait and see what happens in the draw, we don't mind who we play, but if you want to win this title you have to be ready to beat anyone. Playing against Madrid is always complicated, but there are other good teams in the draw too\u201D.
Guardiola's contract renewal
Asked about Guardiola's contract renewal, Puyol believes that \u201Cthe most important thing is to respect his decision. Right now the season is at a crucial point and he is here, that's that. Everyone has their own opinion and I really don't think we should talk any more about it now\u201D.