Following his liver cancer diagnosis in 2011, Eric Abidal attempted to keep spirits high among his Barcelona teammates but has revealed just how hard things were for everyone involved.
The France international confessed that it was the most extreme pain he had ever felt in his life when he was sidelined with the illness.
Some of his teammates even asked him to avoid sending videos of encouragement, such was their upset at seeing Abidal suffering.
“It is a pain I will remember for life. It was unbearable, like an open knife,” he told Ma part d’ombre on Canal+.
“When the doctor told me I would need an operation I was happy. It is a suffering that I wouldn’t wish on anyone.
“I was very thin and before a game, I made a video to send to the players to cheer them up and send support.
“Do you know what Messi told me? Don’t send us things like that anymore because it hurts us.
“I didn’t see it like that, I was trying to encourage them but they told me they saw me like a corpse and it left them upset.”
However, when some visitors did arrive at the hospital to attempt to raise Abidal’s own spirits, he admitted that it was difficult for himself.
“When Thierry [Henry] came to see me in hospital, I cried like a child,” confessed the former Lyon man.
“I didn’t want him to see me like that but I did like that he came to see me.”