FC Barcelona have publicly denied claims that they illegally obtained an organ donor for Eric Abidal's liver transplant back in 2012. At the time, official word said that the liver was sourced from Abidal's cousin, Gerard, but a report during the week appears to rubbish Barcelona's claim.
It was Spanish outlet El Confidential that leaked transcripts of supposed phone calls between former Barca president Sandro Rossell and an unknown person; alleged to have taken place back in 2017.
In such transcripts, Rossell (who was arrested last year for money laundering) admits that he bought the liver off the black marker.
"We bought an illegal liver from this guy, and we sold it was from his cousin, it was from the cousin! We paid him two years of contract, what he had left," reveals that unknown speaker, followed by a response of agreement from Rossell: "yes, yes, yes."
Of course, these claims are nothing more than...claims, and nothing more has been made of it all as of yet, but the club have chosen to release a statement on the matter (via Marca).
"FC Barcelona denies any irregular fact in liver transplantation as it has done the interested party and the Hospital Clinic."
"The information disseminated omits a transcendent event such as the file of this case by a court in Barcelona, dated May 18, a circumstance that harms the honour of Eric Abidal, of all the organisations linked to transplants, Barcelona and former president Sandro Rosell."
Whether the liver was illegal or not obviously remains to be seen, and the possibility is that six years on from when the incident took place, we might not ever know the truth. One thing we do know, though, is that Eric Abidal is still very much alive as a result of the donor.