Barcelona Axe Sporting Director Abidal.

 Barcelona Axe Sporting Director Abidal.

Barcelona have sacked Eric Abidal as sporting director, the club announced in a statement on Tuesday, a day after dismissing coach Quique Setien.

“FC Barcelona and Eric Abidal have reached an agreement for the ending of the contract that united them,” the club said on its website.

Like Setien, Abidal has paid the price after Barca ended a season of internal conflict by surrendering the Liga title to Real Madrid and then suffering a humiliating 8-2 loss to Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-final.

It was Barcelona’s first season without a trophy since 2007.

Setien’s exit was announced on Monday after an emergency board meeting at Camp Nou, which lasted almost six hours.

Abidal, a former France left-back who won 67 caps, played for Barcelona from 2007 to 2013 and helped the club win four La Liga titles and the Champions Leagues in 2009 and 2011.

The second of these European titles made him an icon. He was diagnosed with a liver tumour in March and underwent surgery but returned at the end of the season to start  in the final at Wembley against Manchester United, which Barcelona won 3-1. Captain Carles Puyol let Abidal lift the trophy first.

He underwent a liver transplant in 2012, although the source of the organ was later investigated by Spanish prosecutors.


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