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Friday 9 December 2016

Laporta puts Abidal on Barca presidential ticket

Barcelona presidential candidate Joan Laporta has lined up former Barca and France defender Eric Abidal to be his technical secretary if he wins next month's election.

Laporta, who held the top job between 2003 and 2010 and is one of the frontrunners along with incumbent Josep Maria Bartomeu, presented Abidal at a news conference in the Catalan capital on Monday.

Abidal, 35, played for Barca during a glittering run for the club between 2007 and 2013 and became a fan hero when he made a successful return after undergoing a liver transplant in 2012. He joined Ligue 1 side Monaco in July 2013 and announced his retirement as a player in December after a brief stint with Greek club Olympiakos Piraeus.

"Barca is more than a club and I wanted to carry on working and maintain a link to that," Abidal, who would help oversee Barca's transfer market dealings, told reporters.

Another of his tasks would be to ensure Barca's La Masia academy remained the centre of excellence, he added.

Laporta suggested the Unicef logo would be restored to the front of the shirt in place of current sponsor Qatar Airways but did not say how he might make up for the lost revenue of some €30m a season.

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