Apr 6, 2013 at 9pm UK at ​Camp Nou
Barcelona
5-0
Mallorca
Fábregas (20', 37', 46'), Sánchez (22', 38')
Sánchez (75')
FT(HT: 4-0)

Alfaro (64')

Eric Abidal makes emotional Barcelona return

Eric Abidal
© PA Photos
Eric Abidal makes his first appearance for Barcelona since undergoing a liver transplant last year.

Barcelona defender Eric Abidal has made his first appearance for the club since undergoing a liver transplant last year.

The French full-back, who had not played for the Catalan giants since February 2012 after succumbing to the illness, made an emotional return to action in their game against Real Mallorca at Camp Nou this evening.

Abidal replaced Gerard Pique after 69 minutes to a huge ovation from the fans, with Tito Vilanova's side leading 5-0, thanks to a hat-trick from Cesc Fabregas and a brace from Alexis Sanchez.

The 33-year-old thanked his cousin, who donated the liver, after the game and declared the return as "special".

"This is special for me, after a year out. Thanks to my cousin and all the people I met in the hospital. All [are] important," he told reporters.

Abidal returned to the squad at the end of March, with Vilanova also recently returning from a convalescence in New York after he underwent an operation on a cancerous saliva gland last year.

Eric Abidal
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