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Abidal retires from France squad

14 August 2014, 14:45

Barcelona - Defender Eric Abidal, who underwent a liver transplant in 2012, has become the latest French player to announce his retirement from international football.

Abidal, 34, capped 67 times for his country, follows Bayern Munich winger Franck Ribery and Manchester City midfielder Samir Nasri in bringing down the curtain on his international career.

Now playing for Olympiakos in Greece after spells with Barcelona and Monaco, Abidal told Catalan radio station Rac1 he had been upset at not being selected for the World Cup in Brazil.

"It's over," he said late Wednesday. "I have not held a press conference or said anything. I am saying it for the first time today but I am more than certain that I will no longer join the national team."

Abidal, who played for Barcelona for six years from 2007, was first diagnosed with a liver tumour in March 2011 and a year later underwent a transplant.

He won the last of his 67 caps in a World Cup qualifier against Ukraine in November last year but coach Didier Deschamps finally left him out of the World Cup squad for Brazil.

"The coach called me to tell me I was not on the list. It affected me a lot," said Abidal.

"I wanted to end with the World Cup and all my fight up to now was for that. I won't say it was for nothing but I wanted to finish well, I wanted to finish with the World Cup and now that door is closed," he said.

Abidal joined Monaco in July last year after Barcelona opted not to renew his contract.

The former Lille and Lyon player says he has fully recovered and he successfully completed medical checks last month to join Greek champions Olympiakos.

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