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Eric Abidal hopes to keep playing

Defender Eric Abidal has revealed he was not offered a new contract by Barcelona because the Primera Division champions considered it to be too risky.

The 33-year-old Frenchman was released by the Catalan club at the end of the season just weeks after he made his comeback from a liver transplant.

"They considered it a risk that something could happen to me and did not want the responsibility," Abidal said in an interview with El Mundo.

Abidal spent a year on the sidelines as he recovered from the transplant last April, having previously had surgery to remove a tumor in March 2011.

The former France international claims it was worries over his health that ended his hopes of getting a new deal at Barca, but he is nevertheless determined to continue his career for another two years.

"But I will continue playing while my doctors give me permission. I think it is the right time to leave, I will try to reach 35 before I retire."

Abidal also insists he holds no grudges despite his reluctance to leave the Nou Camp.

"I wanted to continue [at Barca] and this is not what I expected, but I leave with good memories. Barcelona have been my second family," he said.

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