Franck Ribery – France
Full Name: Franck Bilal Ribery
Date of Birth: 7th April, 1983
Position: Midfielder (Winger)
Current Club: Bayern Munich (Germany)
2009/2010 Apps/Goals: 29-6
International Appearances: 42
International Goals: 7
Described as the ‘jewel in French football’ by arguably the greatest French football to have ever lived, Zinedine Zidane, Franck Ribery will look to steer the French national side to their second World Cup title in South Africa.
Ribery tends to occupy the left-wing position, often picking the ball up from deep and charging into the heart of defences. He is pretty small at 5ft 7incs but that works in his favour, with his quick acceleration and agility enabling him to dodge defenders, often making a mockery of the leanest defences. Ribery does like to cut in from the left and have a pop at goal, although goals have dried up in recent seasons however, with Ribery’s main goal threat now coming from his penalties.
There’s no doubting the talent of Ribery, but he can be a feisty character, often difficult to contain when he gets temperamental. However, it has been a turbulent year or so for the Boulogne born winger, with police investigations involving his private life an obvious distraction and one of the reasons why the French public aren’t too pleased that Ribery looks likely to be involved with the French National team in South Africa. We know his off-the-field drama has got to Ribery because his very next game, once matters about his private life were revealed in newspapers, Ribery was sent off in a Champions League semi-final match with Lyon. He did, however, later go on to win the German Bundesliga title.
Franck Ribery is world-class, up their with the very best in the game when at his peak, but recently Ribery hasn’t been anywhere near his best and has slipped off the radar somewhat. Last summer, many of the big clubs were after his signature, Real Madrid and Chelsea notably, and with the Bavarian winger seemingly seeking out a move from Bayern Munich in Germany, he should be eager to impress in South Africa in a bid to catch the eye of any prospective summer buyers.