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Abidal coming to Zim

Former Barcelona defender Eric Abidal has confirmed his impending visit to Zimbabwe where a team of the club’s legends will play against the Warriors in November.

By Kevin Mapasure

Abidal made the confirmation via a video recorded messages as did Gazika Mendieta who had a season-long stint with the club, but has spent most of his playing career at Valencia.

In the videos both Abidal and Mendieta said, “see you in Zimbabwe in November”. The organisers of the event have since confirmed that Brazilian legends Rivaldo and Ronaldinho will be part of the team coming to Zimbabwe.

The Spannish giants’ former striker Patrick Kluivert and ex-midfielder Edgar Davids came to Zimbabwe last month as part of the promotion for this match as well as tying up the deal with their representative Rayco Garcia. They too will be part of the Barcelona legends side.

Abidal and Mendieta’s confirmation will heighten anticipation among Zimbabweans who will get the chance of getting closer to some of the best players to ever play the game.

Former France defender Abidal was particularly successful at Barcelona where he played 125 matches for the club, winning four La Liga titles with the club as well as two Uefa Champions League medals in the 2008-09 and the 2010-11 seasons.

He earned 67 caps for France and at club level played for Monaco, Lille and Lyon where he won Ligue 1 titles as well as a short spell at Olympiacos.

He played as a central defender and at left back at Barcelona.

Warriors strikers will have a life-time opportunity to rub shoulders with him in the November match.

Mendietta had a loan spell at Barcelona in the 2002-03 season, playing 33 matches for the club.

Brazilians Rivaldo and Ronaldinho are however likely to draw all the attention when the team, which will be captained by former Ducth striker Kluivert, comes to Zimbabwe. Both won major trophies with Barcelona. Rivaldo played at the club for five seasons scoring 136 goals.

Rivaldo was at Barcelona for five seasons, between 1997 and 2002, where he scored 136 goals in 253 matches. Furthermore, he helped propel the team to two league titles (97/98 and 98/99), one Spanish Super Cup (1997) and a Copa del Rey (97/98).

Ronaldinho also was a Barça man for five years, from 2003 until 2008, and won La Liga twice (04/05 and 05/06), the Champions League (05/06) and two Spanish Super Cups (05/06 and 06/07), scoring 110 goals across the 250 matches played.

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