Reports: Former Barcelona star was given illegally purchased liver by club President
Shocking new reports emerging from Spain claim that former Barcelona President Sandro Rosell illegally purchased a liver for the club's current Director of Football, Éric Abidal, back in 2012.
In March 2011, Abidal was diagnosed with a form of cancer after a tumour was discovered in his liver. As a result, the Frenchman immediately underwent surgery to get rid of the tumour. Merely 2 months later, Abidal played the full UEFA Champions League final against Manchester United and was handed the captain's armband by Carles Puyol to mark his recovery.
However, in March 2012, recurring issues that hadn't been cured during the surgery required the defender to undergo a liver transplant. In April 2010, he underwent the necessary surgery with his cousin Gerard reportedly being the donor of the liver.
Now, latest reports from El Confidencial (via Marca) have claimed that this liver wasn't supplied by his cousin, but was, in fact, purchased illegally by the then club President, Sandro Rosell.
According to the report, multiple calls from Rosell have been intercepted by Spanish police and allegedly contain proof of the former Barcelona President admitting to the crime.
The publication states that on 20th April 2017, Rosell spoke to an unknown caller who revealed that he had tried explaining the situation to current Barcelona President Josep Maria Bartomeu.
"I asked [Bartomeu] if he had a minute and I explained it to him and he got angry," the caller reportedly said.
"We had sold [the idea] that it was the cousin.
"We paid him two years of contract, what was remaining."
A week later, there was reportedly yet another call that was intercepted. One between Rosell and someone by the name of Juanjo. On April 28th, the pair reportedly spoke again, with Rosell admitting to illegally purchasing the liver.
"Abidal is a son of a b**** and he told me to tell my friend that he'd behaved poorly with him," Juanjo told Rosell.
"I told him, 'look Abi, if you're here and talking then it's because you have a new liver, do you understand?'
"And he told me no."
"Well, if you don't understand that then you don't understand anything about life."
"I told Abidal 'if you're here sitting talking with me right now then it's because somebody bought you a liver, eh?'"
Another report from talkSport claim that these calls have been handed over to a judge who is reportedly investigating Rosell on the grounds of money laundering.
This report claims that there was always uncertainty surrounding the legitimacy of the source of the liver and that these phone calls openly suggest an illegal purchase of the liver, with the cousin angle being used as a facade to avoid controversy.
Notably, Abidal returned to Barcelona just last month in the capacity of Director of Football.