Former France and Barcelona star Eric Abidal, who was diagnosed with liver cancer in 2011, on Thursday revealed that he was blocked by Lionel Messi from sending motivational messages to his then teammates at the Catalonia club while he battled with liver cancer, Daily Mirror reported.
The former full-back, who has since recovered fully, said he had wanted to help encourage his teammates high and shared the video with all his teammates. The move, though, did not inspire the kind of response the Frenchman had hoped for.
“It is a pain I will remember for life. It was unbearable, like an open knife,” Abidal was quoted as saying by 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.”
Abidal also spoke about the time when former team-mate Thierry Henry came to visit him in hospital.
“When Thierry (Henry) came to see me in hospital, I cried like a child,” he said. “I didn’t want him to see me like that but I did like that he came to see me.”