1. Eric Abidal

Former Barcelona full-back Eric Abidal's battles with liver cancer are well documented but worth telling every time, with the French international a modern-day miracle man as he continues to play on after having a liver transplant in 2011.

Abidal endured a roller-coaster of highs and lows during six seasons at the Camp Nou, but perhaps his most emotional return coming just two months after surgery to remove a tumour in his liver.

As if merely returning to competitive action was not heroic enough Abidal performed brilliantly in the 2011 Champions League final against Manchester United, playing the full 90 minutes in a 3-1 win at Wembley.

Carles Puyol would ensure there wasn't a dry eye in the stadium soon after, handing Abidal the captain's armband as he hosted the Champions League high in a fitting tribute to a remarkable character.

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