Barcelona player to have liver transplant

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BARCELONA, Spain (AP) -- Barcelona soccer player Eric Abidal will have a liver transplant in the coming weeks.

The team said Thursday a transplant has been considered since treatment began a year ago.

A liver tumor was removed from the 32-year-old French defender on March 17, 2011. He returned to play the end of the season and showed few lingering effects since.

Abidal was chosen to lift the club's fourth European Cup at Wembley Stadium after helping Barcelona beat Manchester United 3-1 in the Champions League final last May.

Abidal has been a regular with Barcelona since joining the team from Lyon in 2007. His chances of playing in this summer's European Championship are now clearly in doubt.