Abidal joins Monaco, expresses relief
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Eric Abidal has signed a one-year contract with Ligue 1 newcomers Monaco.

The 33-year-old, who left La Liga champions Barcelona at the end of last season following six years in Catalonia, has an option for a second season.

It is a return to Monte Carlo for Abidal, who has played most of his career at left-back but did feature in the middle of defence for Barça, having spent two seasons there at the beginning of the last decade.

After what I've been through, it wasn't easy to find a club with confidence in me.
Eric Abidal

The former Lille and Lyon player underwent a liver transplant in 2012 and only made his comeback to competitive football in April.

Abidal had said he wanted to remain at Barcelona. However, the Spanish giants decided against offering him a new deal.

"It's very emotional, it's huge," Abidal told Monaco's official website. "After what I've been through, it wasn't easy to find a club with confidence in me."

Abidal has played 61 times for France, and joins a host of new signings at the club owner by Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev.

Another France international Jeremy Toulalan joined from Malaga on Saturday, while Ricardo Carvalho from Real Madrid, Moutinho and James Rodriguez from Porto, and Falcao from Atletico Madrid have all already moved to the principality.