Abidal announces France retirement
Defender Eric Abidal has followed Franck Ribery in announcing his retirement from the Francenational team. The 34-year-old, who this summer joined Olympiacos from Monaco, revealed his decision in an interview with Catalan radio station RAC1.Abidal recovered sufficiently from a liver transplant in April 2012 to return to the national team under coach Didier Deschamps but was not selected for this summer’s FIFA World Cup™.”It is time to close this door,” he said. “Not being at the World Cup was a disappointment because I wanted to finish on a good note. The way I struggled as I did until today (after the transplant) was so I could say goodbye to the national team at the World Cup. But that did not happen.”His announcement comes just a day after Bayern Munich winger Ribery – who missed the tournament in Brazil due to injury – confirmed the end of his international career. Abidal has also represented Barcelona, Lyon and Lille in his 15-year professional career.He won 67 France caps dating back to his debut against Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2004 and was a regular feature of the side which reached the 2006 World Cup final. However, he was sent off in the first half of the UEFA EURO 2008 clash with Italy and also played a part in France’s poor World Cup campaign of 2010.His final international appearance came in the World Cup qualifying play-off first leg against Ukraine last November. France lost that game 2-0 before winning the return leg 3-0 to qualify for the tournament.