The Barcelona boss is back in the dugout after undergoing cancer treatment for a second time, his return coinciding with the Catalan club booking their place in the semi-finals of the Champions League with an away-goals win against Paris Saint-Germain in midweek.
Next up for Barca is a blockbuster meeting with Bayern Munich in the last four, and Abidal, who has also suffered with cancer and has just returned from a year on the sidelines following a liver transplant, says Vilanova's recent illness is all the motivation the squad needs.
"The aim is to get into the Champions League final for Tito," said Abidal. "No two ways about it."
Abidal was back in action for the first time since undergoing the transplant in last Saturday's 5-0 demolition of Real Mallorca, and the full-back admitted he never had any doubts that he would return to the highest level.
"My aim was always to come back", Abidal added on the club's website. "I enjoy the training and the chances the manager gives me.
"If I play, great. If not, I try to help my colleagues."
The 33-year-old is out of contract at the end of this season, and while it seems highly unlikely Barca would part with a player that they have supported through such a difficult time, he admits his future remains uncertain.
"The club will decide my future," he said. "My contract ends in June and I want to carry on playing.
"I want to end my career at Barca but I don't know whether the club wants me out."