Football: Abidal to leave Barcelona after 6 seasons; had come back after liver transplant

BARCELONA (AP) - Eric Abidal is leaving Barcelona after six trophy-laden seasons and having fought back from both a liver tumour and a liver transplant to play again.

Abidal, who will turn 34 in July, says he "would have liked to continue playing at Barcelona" when his contract expires next month, but the club "sees it differently."

Barcelona president Sandro Rosell says the door is open for Abidal to return and join its technical staff when he finishes his playing career.

Abidal battled back to play for Barcelona in April after having a liver transplant last year following a bout with cancer in 2011.

The former France defender formed a key part in Barcelona's most successful run in club history, winning 15 titles in his six seasons at Camp Nou.