The heavy confidences of Franck Ribéry after the announcement of his retirement

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A player like no other. This is what supporters of the France team, OM and Bayern Munich will remember in the years to come when they think of Franck Ribéry. Now 39 years old, and while playing at Salernitana, the former tricolor international listened to the voice of reason by hanging up his crampons, after 22 years of riding on the meadow, dribbling like a will-o’-the-wisp and stacking trophies. A few hours after this hard decision, carefully considered and far from surprising, the native of Boulogne-sur-Mer gave himself up to our colleagues from The Gazzetta dello Sport this Saturday.

“Last week I thought a little more about this moment, but the truth is that I am not really prepared for it.began to tell “Kaiser Franck” to our Italian colleagues, as if to make the public understand the weight of his decision. I still felt good three months ago. I had excellent preparation, pre-season, then the first knee pain after a friendly match in July. In the first league game against Roma, I played despite the pain. I’m not a fragile person, but for the next three days I couldn’t move. The doctors said it was very serious. I tried to pull myself together. I couldn’t believe I was being forced to stop. I wish I could choose when to stop. »

Ribéry’s body couldn’t take it anymore

Meaningful words that say a lot about the malaise currently experienced by the former player, who also passed through Metz, Galatasaray or even Fiorentina over the seasons. “Yesterday I watched my career memorial video again, and I cried. I have my own sensitivity, my own heart. I knew this day would come, but it’s bad. Everything happened so fast. Too. And it hurts me. » Before explaining the moment when everything changed. “Less than a month ago I went to Munich for a consultation. I thought: maybe a solution will be found. Instead, I had to undergo an operation, but only to be able to lead a normal life. »

The man who revealed his raw talent to the whole world in 2006, during the World Cup in Germany, an evening of the round of 16 against Spain during which he notably dribbled past a certain Iker Casillas, thus took the opportunity to judge the mark he leaves in the world of football. “My style of play, my mentality, my hunger. I am someone who comes from the streets, and maybe today there are not many others like me who have the dribble, the dart, the imagination… I think that’s what people will remember about me. I can’t say I was the best, but I was definitely different. » A kind of consolation for the Frenchman who won nine German league titles with Bayern, or even the 2013 Champions League with Rekordmeister.

Ribéry, a coach like no other?

But now, a page turns for Franck Ribéry. The latter has also underlined the importance, in recent weeks, of the people present in what will remain the last club of his career. “As soon as I came back to the Salernitana, everyone helped me. They asked me to stay in any other role I wanted. It helped me not to think too much. » This is why he intends to return the favor to his management, in a completely different function, but always close to what he loves the most.

“I am very happy: I would like to be a coach in the future. I like being on the field and being close to the team. I told my teammates that the hardest thing for me was not giving up, but not being able to help them every day. On the contrary, I will continue to do so, in a city where football is lived as I like it: with passion. And I’m in love with football. And then President Iervolino changed and is changing things: we feel that there is a project, a vision for the future. Salerno deserves great things. » Ribéry too, the Salernitana knows it, since a final tribute was paid to the former darling of the Vélodrome, in tears, before the reception of La Spezia in Serie A this Saturday (3 p.m.), in front of 15,000 spectators. Turning your back on the ground will be “a special and very difficult moment”, warns Franck Ribéry, before a new chapter in his life, perhaps just as brilliant, opens. And that he becomes a coach like no other?

The heavy confidences of Franck Ribéry after the announcement of his retirement