In May, FC Barcelona beat Manchester United 3-1 to win the Champions League. Despite being diagnosed with cancer and having treatment for a tumour on the liver two months earlier, Frenchman Eric Abidal had recovered enough to play the whole game. In a moving gesture to mark his recovery, Carles Puyol handed him the captain’s armband for the night and he was the first in the team to receive the trophy.
Shortly after Abidal had been diagnosed with the disease, both Real Madrid and Olympique Lyonnais players wore Ánimo Abidal (Strength Abidal) shirts before their Champions League match. During Barcelona's match against Getafe, the supporters at the stadium clapped for the entire 22nd minute, which is Abidal's shirt number.

Email Sign up

Email Sign-up

Sign up for all things Laureus

Get regular updates throughout the year