Franck Ribéry

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Franck Ribéry
Franck Ribéry 20120611.jpg
Ribéry with France at UEFA Euro 2012.
Personal information
Full name Franck Henry Pierre Ribéry[1]
Bilal Yusuf Mohammed[2][3]
(Muslim name after conversion)
Date of birth (1983-04-07) 7 April 1983 (age 31)
Place of birth Boulogne-sur-Mer, France
Height 1.70 m (5 ft 7 in)[4]
Playing position Left winger
Club information
Current team
Bayern Munich
Number 7
Youth career
1989–1996 Conti Boulogne
1996–1999 Lille
1999–2000 Boulogne
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2000–2002 Boulogne 28 (6)
2002–2003 Alès 19 (1)
2003–2004 Stade Brestois 35 (3)
2004–2005 Metz 20 (1)
2005 Galatasaray 14 (0)
2005–2007 Marseille 60 (11)
2007– Bayern Munich 180 (64)
National team
2004–2006 France U21 13 (2)
2006–2014 France 81 (16)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 17:00, 18 October 2014 (UTC).

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 20 November 2013

Franck Henry Pierre Ribéry (French pronunciation: ​[fʁɑ̃k ʁi.be.ʁi]) (born 7 April 1983) also known as Bilal Yusuf Mohammed as an adopted name since his conversion in 2006 to Islam,[2][3] is a French footballer currently playing for German Bundesliga club Bayern Munich, and a former France national team player. He primarily plays as a winger, preferably on the left side although being right-footed, and is known for pace, energy, skill and precise passing.[4] Ribéry is described as a player who is fast, tricky and an excellent dribbler, who has great control with the ball at his feet.[5] Since joining Bayern, he has been recognised on the world stage as one of the best French players of his generation. The previous talisman of the French national team, Zinedine Zidane, has called Ribéry the "jewel of French football".[6]

Ribéry's career began in 1989 as a youth player for local hometown club Conti Boulogne. He left the club after seven years to join professional outfit Lille, but departed the club after three years after having difficulties adjusting. In 1999, Ribéry joined US Boulogne, where he played for two years. After spending two more years in the amateur divisions with two different clubs (Alès and Brest), in 2004, Ribéry earned a move to Ligue 1 club FC Metz. After six months with the club, Ribéry moved to Turkey in January 2005 joining Galatasaray where he won the Turkish Cup. After six months at Galatasaray, he departed the club in controversial fashion in order to return to France to join Marseille. Ribéry spent two seasons at the club helping the Marseillais reach the final of the Coupe de France in back-to-back seasons.

In 2007, Ribéry joined German club Bayern Munich for a then club-record fee of €25 million. With Bayern, he has won four Bundesliga titles, four DFB-Pokal, one UEFA Champions League and one FIFA Club World Cup, which include three doubles and one treble. His form for Bayern in the club's 2012–13 treble winning season saw him nominated alongside Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo on the three man shortlist for the 2013 FIFA Ballon d'Or.

Between 2006 and 2014, Ribéry represented the France national football team 81 times. Ribéry has represented his nation at two FIFA World Cups (2006, 2010) and two UEFA European Football Championships (2008, 2012). He made his international debut in May 2006 against Mexico. At the 2006 World Cup, Ribéry scored his first international goal against Spain and played in the final match against Italy.

Individually, Ribéry is a three-time winner of the French Player of the Year award and has also won the German Footballer of the Year becoming the first player to hold both honours. He has also been named to the UEFA Team of the Year and declared the Young Player of the Year in France. In 2013, Ribéry won the UEFA Best Player in Europe Award.[7] In 2013, he was also ranked fourth in The Guardian's list of the best players in the world.[8]

Beginnings[edit]

In a certain way this accident helped me. As a child it motivated me. God gave me this difference. The scars are part of me, and people will just have to take me the way I am.

—Ribéry commenting on the car accident he suffered in 1985 aged two years old.[9]

Ribéry was born on 7 April 1983 in Boulogne-sur-Mer, Pas-de-Calais and raised in a low-income neighbourhood on the fringes of the city.[10] When he was two years old, he and his family were involved in a car accident in his hometown, colliding with a lorry.[11] Ribéry suffered serious facial injuries that resulted in more than one hundred stitches and which left two long scars down the right side of his face, and another across his brows.[11] Prior to joining Stade Brestois in 2003, he worked as a construction worker with his father, which Ribéry referred to as a "learning experience".[12]

Club career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Ribéry began his football career at age six playing in the youth section of amateur club FC Conti de Boulogne-sur-Mer.[13][14] After a seven-year stay, in 1996, he joined professional outfit Lille, who were playing in the second division. While at Lille, Ribéry excelled athletically, but developed academic and behavioral problems, which led to Lille releasing him.[13][15] In 2012, during a press conference ahead of Bayern Munich's Champions League tie against his former club Lille, Ribéry explained that he was released from the Lille academy after suffering a broken elbow and that Lille officials had previously wanted to drop him from the academy for being "too small".[16]

After leaving Lille, Ribéry returned to his hometown joining the biggest club in the city, US Boulogne. After spending a year in the reserves, he was promoted to the senior team. Ribéry only made four appearances in his debut season as Boulogne, who were playing in the CFA, the fourth division of French football, earned promotion to third-tier Championnat National.[17] In his second season with the club, Ribéry appeared in 25 league matches converting five goals. Though Boulogne finished 17th, which meant a return to the fourth division, Ribéry's solid performances earned him a move to fellow National club Olympique Alès.[18] In his only season at the club, Ribéry made 18 appearances scoring only one goal.[19] Following the season, despite finishing safe, Alès were relegated to the Division d'Honneur, the sixth division of French football, by the DNCG after the club declared bankruptcy.[20] The resulting news led to Ribéry signing with Stade Brest, another Championnat National club. At Brest, Ribéry established himself as a premier player in the league appearing in 35 league matches scoring three goals.[21] Ribéry's performance and the team as a whole led to the club finishing second in the league, thus earning promotion to Ligue 2.[14]

Despite the success with Brest, Ribéry sought to play in Ligue 1, the top division of French football. His dream came to fruition when FC Metz's manager Jean Fernandez took a liking to him and recruited him on a free transfer.[14] Ribéry only spent half a season at Metz, but impressed earning the UNFP Player of the Month in August 2004. He scored his only league goal for Metz on 6 November in the team's 1–1 draw with Toulouse.[22] His stellar play on the right side of midfield led to Metz supporters comparing him to Robert Pirès, a former Metz legend.[15] After negotiations on an extension ended in a stalemate, in January 2005, Ribéry relocated to Turkey. There he joined Galatasaray on an initial loan deal; the Istanbul-based outfit had the right to pay Metz €2 million to make the move permanent.

Galatasaray[edit]

At Galatasaray, Ribéry was brought in by manager Gheorghe Hagi and appeared in 14 league matches as the club finished in third place position. While playing for the club, Galatasaray supporters nicknamed him Ferraribery, in reference to his quick acceleration with the ball at his feet and also Scarface, due to a large scar located on the right side of his face.[23][24][25][26] In the Turkish Cup, Ribéry was instrumental in the club's 5–1 thrashing of rivals Fenerbahçe in the competition's ultimate match. He scored the opening goal in the 16th minute and also assisted on another goal. Ribéry was later substituted in the 52nd minute with Galatasaray leading 3–1. The trophy was Ribéry's first major honour.

Move to Marseille and CAS ruling[edit]

Franck Ribéry with Marseille against Lille in October 2005.

On 15 June 2005, Ribéry announced that he would be returning to France joining Ligue 1 club Marseille on a five-year contract, plus reuniting with former manager Jean Fernandez. The move was considered surprising to Galatasaray as Ribéry had three years remaining on his contract after the club paid Metz €2 million to make the loan move permanent on 30 March.[27] Ribéry argued that he had not been paid his wages by the club and asked FIFA, the sport's governing body, to invalidate his contract. He also confirmed that, at one point during the season, he was threatened with a baseball bat by his former agent and a Galatasaray director.[28] A day after announcing his move, Galatasaray officials and manager Eric Gerets blasted the player for betraying the club and also announced their intent to ask FIFA to probe the situation.[27][29]

In July 2005, FIFA ruled in favour of Ribéry and dismissed Galatasaray's claims of the player being at fault. In response, the Turkish club announced their decision to challenge FIFA's ruling by appealing to the international Court of Arbitration for Sport. On 25 April 2007, their appeal was dismissed by the court, who declared in a statement that Ribéry had terminated his contract with the Turkish club at the end of the 2004–05 season on just grounds, and that Galatasaray was therefore not entitled to any compensation. Galatasaray had sought €10 million in compensation from Marseille.[30]

2005–06 season[edit]

Upon his arrival, Ribéry was handed the number 7 shirt and made his debut on 30 July 2005 in a 2–0 defeat to Bordeaux collecting a yellow card.[31] On 17 September, he scored his first goal for the club in their 2–1 victory over Troyes.[32] Two weeks later, Ribéry netted goals in back-to-back matches in victories over his former club Metz and Nice.[33][34] On 19 November, Ribéry scored the game-winning goal in a 2–1 win over Nantes.[35] The goal, scored from almost 35 metres (1,400 in) out, was later voted the goal of the season by supporters.[36]

In the Coupe de France, Ribéry performed well scoring a double against Le Havre and scoring the opening goal in Marseille's 3–1 semi-final victory over Rennes. The win pushed Marseille through to the 2006 final where they faced Le Classique rivals Paris Saint-Germain, which merited Ribéry his second consecutive cup final appearance. Unfortunately, Marseille faltered losing 2–1 to the Parisian club. In Europe, Ribéry scored two goals in the UEFA Intertoto Cup against Italian club Lazio and Spanish outfit Deportivo de La Coruña. In the UEFA Cup, he scored one goal converting it in the second leg of Marseille's Round of 32 tie with Premier League club Bolton Wanderers. Ribéry was later named the National Union of Professional Footballers (UNFP) Young Player of the Year.

2006–07 season[edit]

Following Ribéry's success internationally at the 2006 FIFA World Cup, a bidding war occurred in order to obtain his services with English club Arsenal initially offering €15 million for the player. However, Arsenal would be trumped by Spanish club Real Madrid, who offered €30 million for the Frenchman, according to Marseille directors.[37] Rivals Olympique Lyonnais also sought Ribéry's services with president Pape Diouf accusing Jean-Michel Aulas of tapping-up Ribéry after it was discovered that the Lyon chairman visited the France national team and Ribéry himself during the 2006 FIFA World Cup.[38] Diouf later threatened to report Aulas to the Ligue de Football Professionnel for his actions.[39] He also went as far as to accuse Ribéry's former agent, Bruno Heiderscheid, of badly advising the player.[40] Despite the tumultuous summer, Marseille continued to declare the player off limits with Ribéry having nearly four years left on his contract.[41] On 11 August 2006, Ribéry confirmed his intentions to remain at the club for the 2006–07 season.[42]

Franck Ribéry arguing with referee Hervé Piccirillo.

Ribéry's now heightened popularity saw increased speculation from writers and supporters that Marseille would finally win their first league title since the 1991–92 season. He began the 2006–07 campaign on a high note scoring in the club's second match of the season against Auxerre in a 3–0 trouncing.[43] On 11 November 2006, Ribéry suffered a serious groin injury in Marseille's 1–0 loss to Lille.[44] The resulting injury meant Ribéry was out for a number of weeks, returning following the winter break. On his return in January, Ribéry netted two goals in another win over Auxerre.[45] The following month, Ribéry suffered a fractured foot in a match against Toulouse.[46] The injury required him to miss four league matches, as well as a Coupe de France match. In April 2007, Ribéry finished the league season by scoring in back-to-back weeks against Sochaux in a 4–2 win and Monaco in another victory.[47][48]

In the Coupe de France, Marseille again reached the final with Ribéry, for the second straight season, putting them there scoring the game-winning goal in a 3–0 semi-final win over Nantes. In the final, Marseille were heavy favourites over Sochaux, a team they had completely dominated just 12 days prior. However, Sochaux recorded an upset victory defeating Marseille 5–4 on penalties after the match ended 2–2 following extra time. Ribéry's final match with Marseille was a 1–0 win over Sedan on the final match day of the season.[49] The victory secured 2nd place for Marseille and was their best finish since finishing runner-up to Bordeaux during the 1998–99 season. Following the season, Ribéry was awarded the French Player of the Year by French sports publication France Football. The honor ended the four-year reign of Thierry Henry.[50]

Bayern Munich[edit]

2007–08 season[edit]

On 7 June 2007, German club Bayern Munich announced that they had reached an agreement with Marseille for the transfer of Ribéry with the player agreeing to a four-year deal and Bayern paying Marseille a then club-record €25 million.[51] Ribéry was given the number 7 shirt, which was freed up due to the retirement of midfielder Mehmet Scholl at the end of the previous season.[52] He made his team début one month later, scoring twice in an 18–0 friendly drubbing of Munich youth side FT Gern. Ribéry made his competitive debut for Bayern on 21 July 2007 against Werder Bremen in the first round of the Premiere Ligapokal scoring twice and also assisting on another in a 4–1 victory.[53] In the semifinals, he netted an early goal in a 2–0 win over defending champions VfB Stuttgart.[54] Due to injury Ribéry was unable to play in the final, which Bayern won.

Franck Ribéry at a training session with Bayern Munich.

Ribéry scored his first league goal for the club on 18 August in a 4–0 triumph over Bremen converting a penalty in the 31st minute.[55] He went scoreless in the league for almost two months before scoring a goal and providing the assist on Bayern's other goal in a 2–1 win over Bochum.[56] A month later, Ribéry recorded this feat again providing the assist on the opening goal scored by Miroslav Klose and scoring the game winning goal in a 2–1 win over Wolfsburg.[57] In the German Cup, he recorded two goals and provided four assists in five matches Bayern Munich contested. He netted his first goal in the competition on 27 February 2008 in Bayern's win over inner-city rivals 1860 Munich with Ribéry converting the lone goal, a penalty, in the final minute of extra time.[58] In the semifinals, Ribéry scored the opening goal in Bayern's 2–0 win over Wolfsburg, which resulted in the club qualifying for the final where they faced Borussia Dortmund.[59] In the DFB-Pokal final, Ribéry assisted on Luca Toni's opener in the 11th minute. Bayern won the match 2–1 against rivals Borussia Dortmund, claiming their 14th cup title.[60]

In the UEFA Cup, Bayern reached the semi-finals with Ribéry scoring three goals in the competition including one in the Germans' comeback win over Spanish club Getafe in the quarterfinals. In total, Ribéry appeared in 46 matches scoring 16 goals and assisting on 17 goals as Bayern won the league and cup double. For his efforts, on 8 June 2008, Ribéry was named the 2007–08 German Footballer of the Year.[61] He was also named the French Player of the Year for the second consecutive season.[62]

2008–09 season[edit]

Ribéry during a match against Hertha in February 2009.

Due to tearing ligaments in his ankle at Euro 2008, Ribéry began the season with Bayern on 24 September 2008 in a DFB-Pokal match against Nürnberg appearing as a substitute in the 65th minute.[63] He made his league debut three days later and, after a month of play, scored his first goal of the season in Bayern's 4–2 comeback win over Wolfsburg.[64] Following the match, Ribéry scored in five straight league matches with the club going undefeated in that span. On 10 December, Ribéry capped the 2008 portion of the season by scoring a goal and providing assists on the other two in Bayern's 3–2 victory over Lyon in the UEFA Champions League. For his performances throughout 2008, Ribéry finished third behind Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi for the Onze d'Or. He was also shortlisted by the French magazine France Football for the 2008 Ballon d'Or award,[65] won by Cristiano Ronaldo.

Ribéry's 2009 debut saw Bayern earn a 5–1 German Cup win over Stuttgart with the player scoring and also providing an assist.[66] On 24 February 2009, he scored a double in the club's 5–0 win over Portuguese club Sporting CP in the first leg of their Round of 16 clash.[67] Bayern were later eliminated 5–1 on aggregate by Spanish champions Barcelona in the next round, with Ribéry scoring a consolation goal in the second leg in a 1–1 draw at the Allianz.[68] In the league, Bayern failed to defend their Bundesliga title, despite suffering defeat only twice in their final 13 matches, losing out to Wolfsburg. Ribéry ended the season with 36 total appearances scoring 14 goals and providing 19 assists.

2009–10 season[edit]

I hope he stays. For me, he’s up there with Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo as one of the best players in the world.

—Former Bayern Munich player and president Franz Beckenbauer, on Ribéry's future with the club.[69]

Following the 2008–09 season, constant speculation began to surface regarding Ribéry's availability on the transfer market. Despite Bayern president Uli Hoeneß, executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, and new manager Louis van Gaal declaring that Ribéry would not be sold, numerous media outlets declared that English clubs Chelsea and Manchester United, Spanish clubs Barcelona and Real Madrid, and Italian outfit Internazionale had strong interest in the player with many of the clubs willing to offer as much as €65 million for the player.[70][71][72][73] In order to quell the interest, Hoeneß declared that Ribéry would leave for nothing less than €100 million.[74]

Ribéry before UEFA Champions League match against Manchester United in April 2010.

Ribéry started the 2009–10 season struggling with tendonitis in his left knee, but was healthy enough to start the season scoring his first goal in a 5–1 victory against rivals Borussia Dortmund converting a free kick.[75][76] The goal was notable in part due to Ribéry's celebration afterward. Following his conversion of the free kick goal, Ribéry ran across the field eluding several celebratory teammates and enthusiastically jumped into his manager Louis van Gaal's awaiting arms.[77] The mutual show of admiration ended speculation by the media of the two having a bad relationship.[78][79] In early October, the tendinitis began to affect his play, which resulted in Ribéry missing the rest of the year, as well as France's World Cup playoff tie with the Republic of Ireland.[80]

On 23 January 2010, Ribéry returned to the team, making an appearance as a substitute in the club's 3–2 league win over Werder Bremen.[81] Ribéry's first goal of the new year came on 10 February scoring in Bayern's 6–2 DFB-Pokal victory over SpVgg Greuther Fürth.[82] On 31 March, he scored the equalizing goal in Bayern's 2–1 first leg win over English club Manchester United in the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals after converting a free kick, which deflected off of striker Wayne Rooney before going into the net.[83] In the club's ensuing match, Ribéry scored the opening goal in the team's 2–1 victory over Schalke.[84]

Ribéry playing for Bayern in 2009

On 20 April, Ribéry was sent off by referee Roberto Rosetti in the club's first leg UEFA Champions League semi-final against Lyon after being adjudged to have committed serious foul play on Lyon striker Lisandro.[85] The expulsion resulted in Ribéry missing the second leg in Lyon, which Bayern won to advance to the UEFA Champions League final.[86] On 28 April, Ribéry was handed a three-match suspension by UEFA's Control and Disciplinary Body for assault.[87] The suspension meant that Ribéry would miss the final.[88] Following the ruling, Bayern Munich announced their intent to appeal the suspension.[89] On 5 May, the club's appeal was heard by the UEFA Appeals Body and Ribéry's ban was upheld which meant that not only would Ribéry miss the final on 22 May, but he would also miss the next UEFA club competition fixture for which he is eligible.[90] However, immediately after the ruling, Bayern responded by announcing their intent to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.[91]

On 15 May, Ribéry scored the third goal in Bayern's 4–0 win over Werder Bremen in the 2009–10 edition of the DFB-Pokal final. Two days later, Ribéry's appeal was heard by the Court of Arbitration for Sport and was dismissed meaning he was officially ruled out of the UEFA Champions League final against Inter on 22 May.[92][93][94] Bayern Munich lost the match 2–0.[95] On 20 May, it was announced by German newspaper Bild that Ribéry had agreed to a new five-year contract with Bayern Munich and that the player would sign the contract upon his arrival in Madrid to watch his teammates contest the UEFA Champions League final.[96] On 23 May, the day after the final, the club officially confirmed the agreement.[97] The new deal ties Ribéry to the club until 2015 and, though there is uncertainty regarding the annual salary, it has been speculated that the new deal pays him an annual salary of €10 million a year, the highest annual salary ever awarded to a player in the club's history.[98]

2010–11 season[edit]

Ribéry began the 2010–11 season healthy for the first time since his debut season with the club. He was among the first World Cup players to arrive to pre-season training and made his season debut on 16 August 2010 in Bayern's 4–0 victory over Germania Windeck in the 1st round of the DFB-Pokal. In the match, Ribéry scored his first goal of the season.[99] Four days later, he assisted on the game-winning goal, scored by Bastian Schweinsteiger, in the team's opening league match against Wolfsburg.[100] On 21 September, Ribéry was forced to leave the team's 2–1 win over Hoffenheim after suffering an ankle injury.[101] The injury was discovered to be serious and Ribéry was ruled out for four weeks.[102]

Despite the initial diagnosis, Ribéry missed two months and returned to the team on 14 November in a league match against Nürnberg.[103] A week later, Ribéry was criticized by manager Louis Van Gaal for his performance in a friendly match against Unterhaching, which was organized to help Ribéry and other injured first-team players regain full fitness. Though Van Gaal was disappointed in several of his players' performances, he singled out Ribéry stating "he (Ribéry) didn't make any effort and showed no commitment".[104] Ribéry did, however, remain in contention to appear in the team's next league match against Bayer Leverkusen. He, subsequently, appeared in the match as a substitute in the 61st minute.[105] On 8 December, Ribéry scored a double in a 3–0 victory over Swiss club Basel in the Champions League.[106] On 15 January, in Bayern's first league match following the winter break against Wolfsburg, Ribéry suffered a lower leg injury in the first half as a result of a tackle by Brazilian midfielder Josué.[107] Initial media reports described the injury as serious with Ribéry possibly having to undergo surgery to repair torn ligaments.[108][109] However, after further medical analysis, the injury was only reduced to a sprain and Ribéry subsequently missed two weeks.[110] He returned to the team on 5 February in a league match against Köln.[111] On 12 February, Ribéry assisted on two goals in a 4–0 win over Hoffenheim.[112]

Following the team's 3–1 league win over FSV Mainz on 19 February, Ribéry embarked on a streak in which he charted a statistical output in Bayern's next five league matches. On 26 February, he assisted on the team's only goal in its 3–1 defeat against rivals Borussia Dortmund.[113] In the next match against Hannover 96, he repeated his feat from the previous match assisted on an Arjen Robben goal in another defeat.[114] On 12 March, Ribéry had arguably his best performance of the season after scoring a goal and providing three assists in a 6–0 hammering of Hamburger SV.[115] In Bayern's following match against SC Freiburg, he assisted on the team's opening goal, scored by Mario Gomez, and then netted the game-winning goal two minutes from time in a 2–1 win.[116] Against Borussia Mönchengladbach on 2 April, Ribéry assisted on the only goal of the match, which was converted by Robben.[117] The streak ended in the team's 1–1 draw with 1. FC Nürnberg on 11 April.[118] Six days later, Ribéry scored the final goal in a 5–1 sweeping of Bayer Leverkusen.[119][120]

2011–12 season[edit]

Prior to the start of the 2011–12 season, Ribéry suffered an ankle injury during a pre-season training session, which resulted in the player being carried from the training ground by members of the club's medical team.[121] Despite the player himself fearing he may have torn ligaments in the ankle, after an examination, club doctors revealed that the injury wasn't as serious as first thought and Ribéry missed only one competitive match; a 3–0 DFP-Pokal away win over Eintracht Braunschweig on 1 August 2011.[122][123] Ribéry made his season debut a week later in Bayern's opening league match of the season playing the entire match in a 1–0 loss to Borussia Mönchengladbach.[124] In the following week, he assisted on the game-winning goal, scored by Luiz Gustavo, in a win over VfL Wolfsburg.[125] Ribéry scored his first goal of the campaign in the team's next league match against Hamburger SV.[126] Bayern won the match 5–0. Following the international break, on 10 September, he scored a double and assisted on a goal in a 7–0 home victory over SC Freiburg.[127] A week later, Ribéry assisted on both team goals in a shutout win over Schalke.[128]

Ribéry (left) playing for Bayern in the 2012 UEFA Champions League Final.

Following the October international break, Ribéry manufactured another statistical output after scoring and assisting on two goals in a 4–0 win over Hertha Berlin.[129] On 29 October, he scored the game-winning goal in a 2–1 win over Augsburg.[130] In the UEFA Champions League, Ribéry scored his first goal in the competition on 22 November against Spanish club Villarreal in the group stage. He scored one goal in each half to give Bayern a 3–1 win, which allowed the club progression to the UEFA Champions League knockout phase.[131] On 3 December, Ribéry scored another set of goals in a 4–1 win against Werder Bremen.[132] The league win re-inserted Bayern back into first place position in the league after momentarily losing the spot in late November.[133] After failing to score a goal in two months, on 8 February 2012, Ribéry scored the game-winning goal in a 2–0 win over VfB Stuttgart in the quarter-finals of the DFB-Pokal.[134] The goal resulted in Ribéry scoring in every official competition Bayern Munich has participated in since he joined the club in 2007.

Ribéry with Bayern in January 2013

On 26 February, Ribéry scored two goals in a shutout win over Schalke.[135] Two weeks later, in a 7–1 thrashing of Hoffenheim, he scored another goal and assisted on goals scored by Toni Kroos, Arjen Robben, and Mario Gomez.[136] In the semi-finals of the DFB-Pokal, Ribéry scored the second goal in the team's 4–2 extra time win over Borussia Mönchengladbach. The win inserted Bayern Munich into its 18th German Cup final.[137] On 17 April, Ribéry scored Bayern's opening goal in its 2–1 first leg victory over Spanish club Real Madrid in the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League.[138] Two days after the match, it was reported by German publication Sport Bild that Ribéry was involved in a dressing room fight during half-time of the Madrid match with Robben.[139] The report also stated that "a clear-the-air meeting was held" and Ribéry was "said to have apologized and accepted a fine for his actions".[140] In the team's ensuing match against Werder Bremen, Ribéry appeared as a substitute and scored the game-winning goal in the 90th minute.[141]

On 12 May 2012, Ribéry scored in the 2012 DFB-Pokal final, as Bayern lost 5–2 against rivals Borussia Dortmund. In extra time of the 2012 UEFA Champions League Final he was subbed out after sustaining an injury from a tackle by Didier Drogba. Bayern eventually lost in a penalty shootout.

2012–13 season[edit]

Ribéry started the 2012-13 season by winning the 2012 DFL-Supercup against rivals Dortmund on 12 August 2012.

In 2013, Ribéry won the Champions League with Bayern Munich in a German final against rivals Borussia Dortmund. Ribéry completed the continental treble with Bayern after also winning the 2013 Bundesliga and 2013 DFB-Pokal against Stuttgart. Ribéry also had the most assists with 15 in the 2013 Bundesliga.

2013–14 season[edit]

In August 2013, Ribéry won the UEFA Best Player in Europe Award.[7] On 13 January 2014, he placed third in the 2013 FIFA Ballon d'Or, behind Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.[142]

On 25 March, he scored in a 3–1 win over Hertha BSC as Bayern were confirmed as Bundesliga champions.[143]

International career[edit]

Ribéry playing for France against Colombia in June 2008.

Prior to representing the senior team, Ribéry was ever present with the France under-21 team earning his first selection on 3 September 2004 in a 1–0 victory over Israel in qualifying for the 2006 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship.[144] Ribéry scored his first under-21 goal five days later in a 1–0 friendly win over Slovakia.[145] On 15 November 2005, he scored an important goal against England during the qualification playoffs as France defeated them 3–2 on aggregate to advance to the finals.[146] Ribéry, however, missed the competition after earning selection to coach Raymond Domenech's pre-World Cup squad. In total with the under-21s, Ribéry made 13 appearances scoring two goals.[147]

Ribéry earned his first cap with the senior team in a 1–0 victory over Mexico on 27 May 2006 appearing as a substitute in the 74th minute for striker David Trézéguet.[148] His solid performances in the friendly matches ahead of the 2006 FIFA World Cup led to his inclusion in the team for the competition. Ribéry appeared in all seven matches France contested, starting six. On 27 June, he scored France's opening goal in the team's 3–1 Round of 16 win over Spain after receiving a through ball from Patrick Vieira, which allowed the winger to dribble past an oncoming Iker Casillas and shoot into the empty net.[149] He played in the final where France lost to Italy on penalties. Ribéry's only shot on goal came in extra time and he was later replaced by Trézéguet.[150]

Following the retirement of Zinedine Zidane, it was expected that Ribéry would succeed him and become the national team's talisman.[151] He went scoreless for almost a year and a half before converting a penalty shot against England on 26 March 2008 at the Stade de France. Following the goal, Ribéry paid tribute to legendary French commentator Thierry Gilardi who had died a day earlier.[152] At Euro 2008, France performed below expectations with Ribéry appearing in all three group stage matches as France suffered early elimination. On 17 June 2008, in the team's final group stage match against Italy, Ribéry ruptured a ligament in his left ankle in just the 8th minute of play.[153] Ribéry returned to the team on 11 October 2008 in a FIFA World Cup qualification match against Romania and scored the team's opening goal in a 2–2 draw.[154] On 28 March 2009, he scored the lone goal away to Lithuania.[155] Three days later, he completed this feat again, this time at the Stade de France, netting the winner in the 75th minute following service from André-Pierre Gignac.[156]

It's clear I had a horrible 2010 from all points of view. I won't even speak of the injuries that troubled me. But in my private life, my behaviour as a footballer, I went down the wrong roads, I lost myself. I hurt people, people who are very dear to me. I disappointed and even shocked many people and I want to apologise.

—Ribéry commenting on what occurred during the 2010 calendar year.[157]

On 11 May 2010, Ribéry was named to Domenech's 30-man preliminary squad to participate in the 2010 FIFA World Cup and his second World Cup overall. He was later named to the 23-man team to compete in the competition. Ribéry appeared in all three group stage matches. Following the team's opening match against Uruguay, Ribéry was criticised for his performance by former international Just Fontaine, who questioned Ribéry's leadership ability.[158] It was later reported by the media that Ribéry and striker Nicolas Anelka purposely "froze-out" midfielder Yoann Gourcuff.[159] Anelka was later dismissed from the team after reportedly having a dispute, in which obscenities were passed, with Domenech during half-time of the team's 2–0 loss to Mexico.[160]

Ribéry playing for France at UEFA Euro 2012.

On 20 June, an emotional Ribéry appeared, alongside Domenech, on TF1's football show Téléfoot to dispel rumors associated with the team and to also apologize to supporters for the national team's performance over the past two years stating that "We (France) are suffering at the moment" and "I would like to say sorry to the whole country".[161][162] The following day, the team boycotted a training session in response to Anelka's expulsion and, on 21 June, returned to training without incident.[163] In the team's final group stage match against the hosts South Africa, Ribéry assisted on the team's only goal of the competition scored by Florent Malouda. France lost the match 2–1, which resulted in the team's elimination from the competition. On 6 August, Ribéry was one of five players summoned to attend a hearing held by the Disciplinary Committee of the French Football Federation in response to the team's strike held at the World Cup.[164] On 17 August, he received a three-match international ban for his part in the incident.[165] Ribéry did not attend the hearing due to his parent club's objection.[166]

On 17 March 2011, Ribéry was called up to the national team by new manager Laurent Blanc for the first time since the 2010 FIFA World Cup.[167] He had been eligible to return to the team since October 2010 after serving his three-match suspension, however, due to injuries, Ribéry missed three call-ups. On 21 March, after arriving to Clairefontaine ahead of the team's matches against Luxembourg and Croatia, Ribéry attended a personal press conference in which he apologized for his behavior overall during the 2010 calendar year.[168] He made his return to the team on 25 March in the team's match against Luxembourg and responded by assisting on the team's second goal, scored by Gourcuff, in its 2–0 win.[169] In his first match at the Stade de France since the World Cup against Croatia, Ribéry appeared as a substitute and was subject to jeers from some section of supporters, however, other parts of the stadium chanted his name.[170][171]

After appearing regularly in qualifying for UEFA Euro 2012, on 29 May 2012, Ribéry was named to the squad to participate in the competition.[172] Two days prior, he scored his first goal for France in over three years in a 3–2 friendly comeback win over Iceland.[173] On 31 May, Ribéry scored the game-winning goal in a 2–0 win against Serbia.[174] Four days later, he capped off the trio of lead-in friendly matches ahead of the European Championship by scoring the opening goal in a 4–0 shutout win over Estonia.[175]

Ribéry was included in France's squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, but on 6 June coach Didier Deschamps confirmed that he would miss the tournament through injury.[176] Shortly afterwards in August 2014 Ribéry retired from international football. He cited the reasons for his retirement as "purely personal."[177]

Style of play and personality[edit]

Ribéry primarily plays as a winger and is described as a player who is "fast, tricky, and an excellent dribbler who has great control with the ball at his feet".[5] Despite being predominantly right-footed and utilized as a right-sided midfielder during his development years in France, since establishing himself as an international and at Bayern, Ribéry has personally admitted that his preference is to play on the left wing even going as far as to state "My place is on the left" when asked at a February 2010 media session while on international duty.[178] Though he is often played on the left wing domestically, Ribéry has struggled to establish himself as a left winger at the international level with France due to the presence of left-footed dominant players such as Florent Malouda.[179] Ribéry has declared that he is best utilized on the left side because "that is where I am most free and I am the best in my head".[180] Playing on the left also allows Ribéry to use his "bursts of acceleration and weaving runs" to effectively cut inside, which gives him the options of either shooting or delivering a decisive pass.[181] Ribéry is also capable of playing in the center of the field as an attacking midfielder where his vision and playmaking skills are best exhibited. Despite predominantly playing on the wing, he has averaged double-digits in assists every year beginning with his final season at Marseille.

Ribéry (right) takes on Ashley Cole of England at UEFA Euro 2012.

Ribéry has been described as a provocateur on the field of play with UEFA describing him as "a crowd-pleaser – one of those rare breed of footballer capable of enjoying his talents while expressing them".[182] During the 2006 FIFA World Cup, he was mentored by national team play-maker Zinedine Zidane.[183] While boasting him as "the jewel of French football", Zidane has also praised Ribéry as a person declaring "Franck just loves life. He’s the kind of player that makes an impression every time he plays. He’s bound to become an important figure in the world of football".[181]

Ribéry's on-field personality is often matched off-field as he is often referred to as a "joker" and "prankster" by club and international teammates.[184][185] The midfielder has stated that humour is very important admitting "It's important to always be smiling, to wake up and feel good. We (footballers) have a great job, we like what we do and we have fun.[182] His more notable stunts include driving a tractor on field during one of his last matches with Marseille, in his debut season with Bayern, emptying a bucket of water over former club goalkeeper Oliver Kahn from the roof of the club's training centre, and, during the 2008–09 winter break, commandeering the team bus while in Dubai and crashing it.[182][186]

On the negative front, Ribéry has often struggled with injury issues.[5] Since his first season at Bayern in which he appeared in 46 of the club's 54 competitive matches, Ribéry has struggled with minor and serious injuries that has resulted in the player failing to appear in over 40 matches in subsequent seasons; the midfielder passed the 40-match barrier in the 2011–12 season after failing to in the previous three seasons. Ahead of the 2008–09 season, he tore ligaments in one of his ankles while on international duty and, during the 2009–10 season, struggled with tendinitis in his left knee.[75] In the next season, Ribéry suffered an ankle injury, which resulted in the midfielder missing two months, despite the initial diagnosis ruling him out for four weeks.[102] He later suffered a similar ankle injury at the start of the 2011–12 season.[121] Ribéry, himself, has admitted that injuries have led to most of his five-year career at Bayern being difficult stating in July 2011 "The last two years (2009–10 and 2010–11 seasons) have been more difficult, partly because I kept picking up injuries. The important thing for me now is to avoid any more injuries".[187]

Personal life[edit]

Ribéry was born on 7 April 1983 in Boulogne-sur-Mer, Pas-de-Calais and raised in a low-income neighbourhood on the fringes of the city. When he was two years old, he and his family were involved in a car accident in his hometown, colliding with a lorry. Ribéry suffered serious facial injuries that resulted in more than one hundred stitches and which left two long scars down the right side of his face, and another across his brows.

Ribéry's younger brother François is also a football player, and has played for many amateur clubs in France. He played for Bayonne in the Championnat National.[188]

Ribéry's wife, Wahiba, is a French national of Algerian descent and the couple have two daughters and a son.[4][189][190] Ribéry is a convert to Islam[191][192] and, following his conversion, adopted the name Bilal Yusuf Mohammed.[2][3]

Commercial promotions[edit]

Since establishing himself as an international, Ribéry has been involved in numerous promotional campaigns. He is sponsored by American sportswear company Nike and regularly wears Nike Mercurial Vapors. He has appeared in several television advertisements for Nike and, during the 2007–08 Bundesliga season, starred in a one-off television show called "The Franck Ribéry Show", which aired on Direct 8 in France.[193][194] The show, sponsored by Nike, acted as a variety show with Ribéry appearing in several sketches.[195] Ribéry features in EA Sports' FIFA video game series. For the 2008–09 season, he appeared on the French cover of FIFA 09 alongside international teammate Karim Benzema, and was the ninth highest rated player in FIFA 15.[196][197]

On 25 May 2010, a 27 by 30 metres (89 ft × 98 ft) billboard of Ribéry was officially unveiled in his home city of Boulogne-sur-Mer ahead of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The billboard paid tribute to a similar billboard that was erected for Zinedine Zidane in his home city of Marseille during his career.[198] The construction of the billboard was initially suspended due to possible image ramifications associated with Ribéry's alleged relationship with an underage prostitute.[199] However, the Regional Council of the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region, which initially opposed the billboard, agreed to allow construction of the billboard. The billboard was a project of Ribéry's sponsor Nike and was on display for the duration of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.[200] More recently, he was one of several international superstars featured in Nike's "The Last Game", a five-minute animated ad made during the run-up to the 2014 FIFA World Cup that went viral.[201]

He has also appeared in the music video for "Même pas fatigué !!!" by Magic System and Khaled.[202][203] The single released in 2009 stayed seven weeks at number one in SNEP French Singles Chart.[204]

Scandals[edit]

On 18 April 2010, it was first reported by French television service M6 that four members of the French national team were being investigated for their roles as clients of a prostitution ring that was being operated inside of a Paris nightclub with some of the women possibly being underage. The report also stated that two of the players were already questioned as witnesses by judge André Dando and a group of magistrates. The report described the two players as being one who "is a major player in a big foreign club" and that the other "plays in the championship of France Ligue 1".[205] Later that day, the players were discovered to be Ribéry and Sidney Govou.[206] During his interview with Dando, Ribéry reportedly admitted to having a relationship with a prostitute, but did not know that she was a minor at the time the relationship began.[207][208]

On 29 April 2010, the country's Secretary of State for Sports Rama Yade, after refusing to publicly comment on the case in its infancy, declared that any player placed under investigation should not represent the France national team.[209] The following day, a judicial source confirmed that Ribéry would not be placed under official investigation, if at all, before the start of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.[210] On 20 July, Ribéry was questioned by Paris police and, following questioning, was indicted by judge Dando on the charge of "solicitation of a minor prostitute".[211][212][213] In November 2011, prosecutors asked for the cases against Ribéry and Benzema to be dropped, saying that the players were not aware that the escort, identified as Zahia Dehar, was 16 years old when they had paid to have sex with her.[214]

Career statistics[edit]

Club[edit]

Statistics accurate as of 21 October 2014.[nb 1]
Club Season League Cup[220] Continental Other[221] Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Boulogne 2000–01 4 1 0 0 4 1
2001–02 24 5 1 0 25 5
Total 28 6 1 0 29 6
Alès 2002–03 19 1 0 0 19 1
Total 19 1 0 0 19 1
Brest 2003–04 35 3 2 1 37 4
Total 35 3 2 1 37 4
Metz 2004–05 20 1 2 0 22 1
Total 20 1 2 0 22 1
Galatasaray 2004–05 14 0 3 1 17 1
Total 14 0 3 1 17 1
Marseille 2005–06 35 6 6 3 12 3 53 12
2006–07 25 5 8 1 5 1 38 7
Total 60 11 14 4 17 4 91 19
Bayern Munich 2007–08 28 11 5 3 11 3 2 3 46 20
2008–09 25 9 3 1 8 4 36 14
2009–10 19 4 4 2 7 1 30 7
2010–11 25 7 3 2 4 2 32 11
2011–12 32 12 4 2 14 3 50 17
2012–13 27 10 3 0 12 1 1 0 43 11
2013–14 22 10 4 1 10 3 3 2 39 16
2014–15 2 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 3 2
Total 180 64 26 11 67 18 6 5 279 98
Career total 355 86 48 17 85 22 6 5 494 130

International[edit]

Graffiti of Ribery near the San Siro, in Milan, Italy
Correct as of 15 October 2013.[222]
National team Season Apps Goals Assists
France 2005–06 10 1 4
2006–07 8 1 3
2007–08 12 2 2
2008–09 8 3 1
2009–10 10 0 1
2010–11 4 0 0
2011–12 12 3 2
2012–13 9 2 2
2013–14 8 5 5[223]
Total 80 16 20

International goals[edit]

# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1 27 June 2006 AWD-Arena, Hanover, Germany  Spain
1 – 1
1 – 3
2006 FIFA World Cup
2 2 June 2007 Stade de France, Saint-Denis, France  Ukraine
1 – 0
2 – 0
UEFA Euro 2008 qualifying
3 26 March 2008 Stade de France, Saint-Denis, France  England
1 – 0
1 – 0
Friendly match
4 3 June 2008 Stade de France, Saint-Denis, France  Colombia
1 – 0
1 – 0
Friendly match
5 11 October 2008 Stadionul Farul, Constanţa, Romania  Romania
2 – 1
2 – 2
2010 FIFA World Cup qualification
6 28 March 2009 S. Darius and S. Girėnas Stadium, Kaunas, Lithuania  Lithuania
0 – 1
0 – 1
2010 FIFA World Cup qualification
7 1 April 2009 Stade de France, Saint-Denis, France  Lithuania
1 – 0
1 – 0
2010 FIFA World Cup qualification
8 27 May 2012 Stade du Hainaut, Valenciennes, France  Iceland
2 – 2
3 – 2
Friendly match
9 31 May 2012 Stade Auguste Delaune, Reims, France  Serbia
1 – 0
2 – 0
Friendly match
10 5 June 2012 MMArena, Le Mans, France  Estonia
1 – 0
4 – 0
Friendly match
11 11 September 2012 Stade de France, Saint-Denis, France  Belarus
3 – 1
3 – 1
2014 FIFA World Cup qualification
12 22 March 2013 Stade de France, Saint-Denis, France  Georgia
3 – 0
3 – 1
2014 FIFA World Cup qualification
13 10 September 2013 Central Stadium, Gomel, Belarus  Belarus
1 – 1
2 – 4
2014 FIFA World Cup qualification
14 10 September 2013 Central Stadium, Gomel, Belarus  Belarus
2 – 2
2 – 4
2014 FIFA World Cup qualification
15 11 October 2013 Parc des Princes, Paris, France  Australia
1 – 0
6 – 0
Friendly match
16 15 October 2013 Stade de France, Saint-Denis  Finland
1 – 0
3 – 0
2014 FIFA World Cup qualification

Honours[edit]

A billboard at the Theatine Church in Munich depicting Ribéry as royalty while stating "Bavaria has a King again" in German.

Club[edit]

Galatasaray[224][225]
Marseille
Bayern Munich[226]

International[edit]

France[226]

Individual[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Franck Ribéry career statistics are tallied in the attached sources.[18][19][21][215][216][217][218][219]

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External links[edit]