Mourinho: Abidal case goes beyond rivalry
© EFE

Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho has given his backing to Barcelona's defender Eric Abidal, who had a tumour removed from his liver a year ago but now needs a full organ transplant.

Mourinho said Abidal's health situation was one where club rivalry was irrelevant and pledged the full support of his players.

"It's one of those cases when there's no differences between clubs," he told a news conference ahead of Real's match with Malaga tomorrow. "If we can show our public support in any way, our players will do it tomorrow."

If he can play again at the highest level, we will all be delighted and will applaud it.
Jose Mourinho on Eric Abidal

Barcelona said this week that 32-year-old Abidal required a liver transplant in the coming weeks, casting doubt on whether he would play in the upcoming UEFA EURO 2012 or even in top-flight football again.

Like his Barça counterpart Pep Guardiola, Mourinho said he would love to see the player return after his operation.

"If he can play again at the highest level, we will all be delighted and will applaud it. But the most important thing is that he has a long and happy life," he added.