French international star Franck Ribery has retired from international football as he looks set to concentrate on his club career with Bayern Munich and his family.
“I am stopping,” the 31-year-old told German magazine Kicker in an interview to be published on Thursday. “I realised that this moment has come.”
Ribery won 81 appearances for France scoring 16 goals. He battled for fitness ahead of the World Cup in Brazil, but unfortunately missed the tournament due to injury. However, he was a finalist in the 2006 World Cup, when France lost to Italy on penalties.
“One has to know when to stop. I have experienced so much and now is the time for others to come forward. You could see at the World Cup that we should have no concerns about France’s future.”
The Frenchman was thought to be working towards playing in the European Championship in his homeland in two years time, but he now won’t feature.
Ribery will continue to play his club football at Bayern Munich where they hope to win the Bundesliga again, and do far better in the Champions League under manager Pep Guardiola.
This loss to the French international team will only benefit Bayern Munich. Without the distraction of World Cup and European Cup finals and qualifiers, as well as the constant stream of friendlies, Ribery will be able to put his full concentration on winning both the Bundesliga and the Champions League.
Bayern Munich have just lost to rivals Borussia Dortmund in the German Super Cup, so they will be raring to get their revenge in the league and in Europe this coming season.
There is no doubt that Franck Ribery will be a massive loss to the French national squad, but there are young players who are coming through, and he wouldn’t want to get in their way. Better it be now, and not in two years when the team then has less opportunity to build a World Cup challenging team.