Barcelona names Eric Abidal as new sporting director

Barcelona sporting director Robert Fernandez will not have his contract renewed, with Eric Abidal instead taking over in the role.

Eric Abidal in action for Barcelona   -  Getty Images

Eric Abidal will take over as Barcelona's sporting director for the 2018-19 season, the club has confirmed, replacing Robert Fernandez in the role.

Roberts contract is due to expire at the end of June and will not be renewed, Barcelona said in a statement, released, on Thursday.

The outgoing sporting director faced criticism over the departure of Neymar in 2017 in a world-record transfer to Paris Saint-Germain, while some of his signings during his tenure failed to have the expected impact at Camp Nou.

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Abidal played for Barca between 2007 and 2013, though serious illness and a subsequent liver transplant curtailed his involvement towards the end of his spell. The former France international became a Barcelona ambassador in 2017 and will now take over from Robert.

"Barcelona announces that Robert Fernandez will not extend his contract as the football first team technical secretary, which runs out on June 30 of this year," the LaLiga champions said in a statement.

"The club would like to thank Robert Fernandez publicly for his commitment and dedication to Barcelona over the years and wishes him success in the future."

Abidal will be presented as the new Barcelona sporting director on July 18, the club added.

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