Abidal snubs Barcelona for Olympiakos

The former France defender has taken up a role with the Greek outfit after turning down the offer from the Catalans

Eric Abidal says he turned down two job offers from Barcelona before taking up a part-time role withOlympiakos.

The former defender, who retired in December after playing 10 games for the Greek club, had previously won two Champions League titles with the Blaugrana during a six-year spell in Catalunya.

And the 35-year-old admits he was invited to take up two different behind-the-scenes roles at Barcelona before agreeing to work for the Greek champions, one working within the club’s youth set-up and another as an intermediary between the first-team squad and the board.

“Lionel Messi knows the president , there’s no need for me to go and see him on his behalf,” Abidal toldFrance Football. “And the first option wouldn’t have left me much time to dedicate to my foundation work, whereas the Olympiakos job will.”

The ex-France international was diagnosed with a tumour in his liver in 2011 and was immediately entered for surgery, and his Eric Abidal Foundation remains a huge priority for him as a result.

“My new job is not a job where you are on call 24 hours a day,” he added.

“I recently visited one of Olympiakos’ sponsors in Switzerland and I took advantage of that trip to do some work with my foundation, too. They have said that I only need to be in Athens four days a month which is ideal for me.”

Abidal also played for Monaco, Lille and Lyon during a career which saw him earn 67 caps for his country.