On Tuesday, an interview with Eric Abidal aired on Canal +, where the player shared details about his battle to have his liver cancer cured. During the interview, Abidal stated that Lionel Messi had a baffling reaction, where he allegedly asked him to cease sending the team videos depicting him struggling with his disease.
Spanish newspapers and shows took these words and replicated them, but apparently they got lost in translation, since Abidal retracted himself from his initial statement via a tweet directed at journalist Josep Pedrerol and his TV show, "El Chiringuito".
"Setting the record straight: When I sent that video to encourage my team-mates, Leo Messi never told me not to send anymore stuff of the sort, nor he said that he wanted nothing to do with it. Leo told me he didn't like to watch me like that, but he never had a bad word against me"
Aclaración:Cuando envié el vídeo para animar al equipo leo messi nunca me dijo que no les enviara más cosas así ni que no quisiera saber nada. Leo me dijo que no les gustaba verme así, pero en ningún momento ha tenido malas palabras para mi. @elchiringuitotv @jpedrerol— Eric Abidal (@EAbidalOfficial) January 11, 2018
This is not the first time in which the Spanish media has been involved in a controversy of the sort. Nevertheless, only a few footballers have stepped up and deny statements attributed to them in TV shows or newspapers. At least one Madrid-based newspaper and one Barcelona-based tabloid published his words, so it remains to be seen who's telling the truth.