January 6, 2012 10:57 pm

Beating cancer

Barcelona’s Eric Abidal claimed his ‘revenge on life’ two months after undergoing surgery to remove a liver tumour

Until mid-March 2011, life seemed good for footballer Eric Abidal. The father of three was a multi-millionaire defender playing for Barcelona and France. Then a tumour was found on his liver. Abidal was immediately operated on. Very soon afterwards, he sold his collection of luxury cars. “It’s better to invest in hospitals or do things for children,” he explained. “When you cross to the other side of the barrier, you see life differently.”

On May 3, Abidal played his first post-tumour minutes of football. On May 28, when Barcelona beat Manchester United in the Champions League final, he played the whole match. Afterwards his teammates gave him the captain’s armband, and let him collect the trophy before a cheering Wembley stadium. “A revenge on life,” he called it.

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Simon Kuper

Antoine Doyen is a French photographer based in Paris. He is currently working on a series of portraits of people involved in the world of tractor-pulling. www.antoinedoyen.net

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