Ex-defender Eric Abidal to take on Barcelona ambassadorial role

Eric Abidal has reached an agreement to return to Barcelona in an ambassadorial role, it was confirmed on Wednesday.

Former France international Abidal made almost 200 appearances for the club in a six-year spell after joining from Lyon in 2007.

During his time at the Camp Nou, he was diagnosed with cancer and had a liver transplant in 2012 before leaving for Monaco in 2013.

After signing for Monaco, he criticised the way in which the board, at that point led by Sandro Rosell, had overseen his departure.

He was subsequently involved in Joan Laporta's presidential election campaign two years ago and would have been named as sporting director had that campaign succeeded.

Abidal is latest high-profile former player to be given an ambassadorial role following the announcement earlier this year that Ronaldinho would return.

He said: "It makes me really happy to be officially part of the club again.

"We have been talking for a long time, and today was the day. It's an honour to represent this club, the values are important.

"As an ambassador, I will try to represent the club in the best way possible in Europe, Asia, the Middle East... wherever and whatever the club want."

Mundo Deportivo reported that Rivaldo and Juliano Belletti would be given similar roles, with the latter already representing Barca in various projects across the world.

All are expected to be involved in the Legends project, with Belletti already confirmed for this month's game against Manchester United at the Camp Nou alongside Ronaldinho, Edgar Davids and Simao Sabrosa.

The Legends project, involving a team of former players, is intended to spread Barcelona's brand around the world.