Barcelona star Eric Abidal to undergo surgery on tumour

Eric Abidal's peers have rallied round in support the Barcelona defender after the club revealed he will undergo surgery on a liver tumour on Friday.

Real Madrid duo Cristiano Ronaldo and Kaka as well as Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas last night sent their best wishes to the 31-year-old France international after Barcelona announced the news.

Abidal's condition was revealed in a Twitter statement by his club.

Barcelona announced yesterday evening: "A liver tumour has been detected in the player Eric Abidal and he will be treated surgically next Friday.

"Abidal will be operated on by Dr Josep Fuster Obregon. Per the express wish of the player, we call for the utmost respect for the right to privacy."

Barcelona later confirmed that Abidal will be operated upon at the BarnaClinic Grup Hospital Clinic, in the city.

Fabregas, a former Barcelona youth player, wrote on Twitter: "Much encouragement and a lot of strength to Eric Abidal. Bad news for football."

Ronaldo, who plays for Barca's major rivals Madrid, wrote on the social networking site: "I hope it all goes well with Abidal, and that he gets back soon", while his team-mate Kaka added: "What sad news about Eric Abidal, tumour in the liver! Let's pray for him .. God bless!!"

Abidal joined Barcelona from Lyon in 2007 and has been a regular this season in the team which leads the Primera Division and has reached the Champions League quarter-finals.

He played in both matches against Arsenal in the last 16 of the latter competition.

Capped 52 times by France, Abidal made his international debut in 2004 and has played for his country at two World Cups as well as the 2008 European Championship.