RESENDING WITH COMPLETE SCRIPT
VIDEO SHOWS: FILE FOOTAGE OF FORMER BARCELONA SPORTING DIRECTOR, ERIC ABIDAL
BARCELONA, SPAIN (FILE - JANUARY 14, 2020) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)
1. VARIOUS OF FC BARCELONA PRESIDENT, JOSEP MARIA BARTOMEU (LEFT), SPORTING DIRECTOR, ERIC ABIDAL (RIGHT), AND THEN COACH, QUIQUE SETIEN (CENTRE), HOLDING BARCA JERSEY AND POSING FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS
2. NEWS CONFERENCE IN PROGRESS
3. SETIEN SHAKING HANDS AND HUGGING BARTOMEU, SETIEN HUGGING ABIDAL
BARCELONA, SPAIN (FILE - JULY 5, 2019) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)
4. ABIDAL ON STAGE ALONGSIDE BARTOMEU AND FRENKIE DE JONG DURING THE PRESENTATION OF THE DUTCH MIDFIELDER WHEN HE SIGNED FOR THE CLUB, DE JONG HUGGING BARTOMEU AND ABIDAL
BARCELONA, SPAIN (APRIL 22, 2016) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)
5. VARIOUS OF ABIDAL PLAYING SOCCER WITH CANCER-AFFECTED CHILDREN
6. ABIDAL SPEAKING AT EVENT
7. VARIOUS OF ABIDAL AND BARTOMEU TAKING PART IN PHOTO OPPORTUNITY WITH THE CHILDREN
STORY: Barcelona said on Tuesday (August 18) they have sacked sporting director Eric Abidal, a day after dispensing with coach Quique Setien in response to exiting the Champions League last week with an 8-2 drubbing by Bayern Munich.
Abidal, a double Champions League winner as a Barca player, had been in the role for over two years but has been let go after one of the club's worst seasons in recent memory, in which they also surrendered the league title to Real Madrid.
The Frenchman was also the target of criticism from Lionel Messi earlier this year, who accused his former team mate of blaming the squad for Ernesto Valverde getting sacked as coach last January.
Abidal joined Barca as a player in 2007 and became one of the club's most popular players for enduring a battle with cancer, which forced him to undergo a liver transplant in 2012.
"The club would publicly like to thank Éric Abidal for his professionalism, commitment, dedication and the close and positive nature of his relationship with all aspects of the Barca family," the club said in a statement.
(Production: Tim Hart)