Previous
Osmanlispor
Olympiakos
4:00 PM UTC
Leg 2Aggregate: 0 - 0
Game Details
AS Roma
Villarreal
6:00 PM UTC
Leg 2Aggregate: 4 - 0
Game Details
Apoel Nicosia
Athletic Bilbao
6:00 PM UTC
Leg 2Aggregate: 2 - 3
Game Details
Tottenham Hotspur
KAA Gent
8:05 PM UTC
Leg 2Aggregate: 0 - 1
Game Details
Fiorentina
Borussia Monchengladbach
8:05 PM UTC
Leg 2Aggregate: 1 - 0
Game Details
Shakhtar Donetsk
Celta Vigo
8:05 PM UTC
Leg 2Aggregate: 1 - 0
Game Details
FC Dallas
Arabe Unido
1:00 AM UTC Feb 24, 2017
Leg 1
Game Details
Next

Europa League round of 16 draw

Europa League
Read

Trending: Mkhitaryan, Carrick suffer injury

Latest
Read

Wood hopes to return for Bayern clash

Hamburg SV
Read

Transfer Rater: Walker to Barca, Benzema to PSG

Transfers
Read

Abidal: I never stopped fighting

Barcelona defender Eric Abidal insists he never gave up his fight to continue his football career after making his long awaited return in Barcelona's 5-0 win over Mallorca on Saturday.

• European gallery Photo Gallery
• La Liga: Saturday wrap

Abidal, 33, was sidelined after undergoing a liver transplant almost a year ago, completing a two year ordeal with illness following the removal of a liver tumour in March 2011.

The France international was substituted on in the 70th minute of Barca's rout to a rousing reception from the Camp Nou crowd, his first appearance for the Blaugrana since February 2012.

Abidal took a significant step in his comeback last month when he featured for Barcelona's reserve team and coach Tito Vilanova - who also returned to the Camp Nou sidelines from illness - had no hesitations in promoting him to the first team for the La Liga clash.

After the match, Abidal revealed a t-shirt that read "thanks my cousin. Number 13" - a tribute to the cousin who donated part of his liver to the Frenchman.

"This is special for me after a year out. Thanks to my cousin and all the people I met in the hospital. They were all important," Abidal told Canal Plus television. "I can fight, I will always fight - and I'll try to do my best. Let's hope it's a great year. Without my cousin I wouldn't be here.

"My advice to people in the same situation is to fight hard, to be grateful to God and to pray a lot."

Abidal admits he was motivated to return in a bid to finish his career on his own terms.

"I feel great. Apart from my family, football is my life. I didn't want to retire without having played again," he told Barca TV. "If I can, I will continue playing for one or two more years. If not, you can hire me here at Barca TV."

Assistant coach Jordi Roura admitted Abidal's return was a motivator for Barca and praised the depth of the Catalan giants in the absence of Lionel Messi.

"Abidal's return is an important moment for the whole squad," Roura said. "If Messi's not there, of course it's a problem, but we've shown again we have the necessary squad depth and quality players.

"Cesc played a great game, and he's played before in that position. [Alex] Song was outstanding, while [Alexis] Sanchez also scored twice. He only left the pitch as a precaution."

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.