|Full name||Éric Abidal|
|Date of birth||July 11, 1979|
|Place of birth||Lyon, France|
|Height||1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)|
|Position||Left Back, Left Midfielder|
Eric Abidal (born July 11, 1979 in Lyon) is a left-sided French football defender of Martiniquean descent who currently plays for FC Barcelona in La Liga. He is married with an Algerian woman and became a Muslim with Islamic name Bilal.
Abidal was trained in Lyon-La Duchère, a team playing in the suburbs of Lyon. He started his professional career with AS Monaco on September 16, 2000, where he earned 22 first-team appearances. He moved to Lille OSC where he was reunited with his former manager Claude Puel and earned 62 first-team appearances. At the end of 2004, he returned to his native region by joining Olympique Lyonnais, which had just won its second successive Ligue 1 championship. During his time in France he was considered one of the best fullbacks in the Ligue 1. In the Lyon defense, he played alongside other French internationals (Grégory Coupet, François Clerc and Anthony Réveillère) and two Brazilian internationals (Cris and Caçapa).
Eric Abidal and the FC Barcelona
On 30 June 2007, Abidal moved to Barcelona for €15 million, after repeatedly stating that he would not return to training if he did not get the move, signing a four-year contract and taking the number 22 jersey, as the number 20 he wore at Lyon was already taken by Deco. Barça president Joan Laporta also mentioned that Abidal's contract would contain a €90 million release clause, and that Lyon would receive an extra €500,000 if Barcelona win the Champions League in any of the next four seasons.
Abidal has earned 22 caps with the French national team, having earned his début cap on August 18, 2004. Despite numerous injuries and disagreements with FIFA in the past few seasons, Abidal played on the French team in the 2006 FIFA World Cup, starting at left back and playing every minute of the tournament with the exception of France's match against Togo, from which he was suspended after earning two yellow cards over the previous two games. Mikaël Silvestre filled Abidal's left back slot for that game. When France and Italy were forced into a penalty shootout in the Final, he was placed third in France's five shooters. Abidal made his shot, putting it past Yashin Award winning Gianluigi Buffon, but the French team lost the shootout 5-3.