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Éric Abidal was presented at midday on Tuesday as the new FC Barcelona technical secretary. The Frenchman, who played for the club from 2007 to 2013, said “I am happy to be back home. It is a pleasure for me to return to FC Barcelona. I want to thank the club for entrusting me with such an important job”.

“I have been preparing for this opportunity for many years. I know this club and its players. I was one of them for five years. I am sure we can do a great job together.”

Pep Segura, the sports manager for football, mentioned this as one of the reasons why the club is hiring Abidal – in addition to his in-depth knowledge of the international market and especially the French one, which is the biggest supplier of players to the other major leagues in Europe.

And FCB vice-president Jordi Mestre added that “we are thrilled to have you back. Your knowledge of the club and your importance here, as well as six years in the first team, will be ideally suited to our sports management team”.

The new-look Barça?

Abidal pledged to “build a competitive team, both for next season and the future. I have spoken to the manager although we haven’t discussed specific players. Pep Segura has already done the internal work, and I have met him and Ramon Planes. We are in contact with the coach and when the time comes, we will make decisions and announce them.”

Segura: Club still grooming new talent

As well as questions about the Griezmann issue, Pep Segura also defended the good work being done ion the academy. “We are always working with the youth players” he said. “In recent years we have made incredible progress.”

“We have made changes yo the salaries of young players so we can compete with what’s happening at other European clubs and meet the aspirations of our players. But we also have to consider the huge demands of the players’ agents, who want large amounts of money for players that we developed ourselves here.”

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