Barcelona defender Eric Abidal has discussed his return from illness and said retiring from the game never crossed his mind.

The Frenchman, who overcame cancer and a liver transplant to recently return to training, has participated in a documentary for TV3.

“I feel good,” he began. “Eight months ago I had the surgery, and I wanted to fight back. Sometimes when I woke up in the morning it was hard, but gradually I got better and better. I never thought about stopping playing because, besides my family, football is my life.

“I’ve jumped many hurdles and still am, and if others come, I’ll continue jumping. We players are lucky in that we represent a lot for people. When we see children in hospital we give speeches of encouragement. If I had not kept working, I would have been lying to those children.”

The 33-year-old reminisced on lifting the Champions League trophy at Wembley in 2011, and spoke about his relationship with Barca Coach Tito Vilanova, who is experiencing similar health difficulties.

“I was the first to lift the cup and it was a huge day because it represented many things. As [Carles] Puyol says, when you lift it, you have the feeling that the world stops.

“Tito and I have experienced similar things and I guess, different things from others. I do not like to talk too much, but he knows what I think.”

Tags Abidal Vilanova