Eric Abidalhas has announced his retirement from professional football with immediate effect. The Olympiakos defender, 35, was rumoured to be considering an exit from the sport and confirmed the reports Friday in a press conference, citing "personal reasons".
Abidal paid tribute to the coaches and medical staff who helped during a career blighted by health problems and admits he has relished his brief spell with Greek champions Olympiakos.
"It's a very important moment in my career. Today, I've taken the official decision to bring an end to my professional career. It's solely due to personal reasons, I've always played at a good level. I thank the president for his support. I'm proud to have worn the Olympiakos shirt during my time here and I'll always support them. I want to say thank you to the coaches I've had, to the medical staff who helped me, because without them I wouldn't be here now,"he said.
Abidal also confirmed that an offer from Barcelona to return to the club in a non-playing role remains on the table but insisted he is in no rush to make a decision about his future. Abidal joined Olympiakos this summer on a two-year contract shortly after renewing his deal with Monaco, having spent six years at Camp Nou prior to his one-season return to Stade Louis II. He has appeared intermittently for the Greek club domestically but played every match in their Champions League campaign, which ultimately resulted in elimination from the tournament, as they dropped into the Europa League.