Ribery Announces International Retirement

Bayern Munich winger Franck Ribery has announced with immediate effect that he will no longer take part in further international matches with France.

Ribery earned his first France cap in a 1-0 friendly win over Mexico in May 2006 and has since participated at two Fifa World Cup (2006 and 2010) and two European championships (2008 and 2012).

His bid for a third successive World Cup appearance in Brazil was blighted by a lower back injury he suffered in training prior to the start of the tournament.

“I quit,” Ribery told German sports magazine Kicker. “I have realised that the moment has come.”

Franck Ribery Celebrates After Scoring Against Finland During the 2014 World Cup Qualifying Fixtures.  Image: Reuters.
Franck Ribery Celebrates After Scoring Against Finland During the 2014 World Cup Qualifying Fixtures. Image: Reuters.

After a successful period with the French U-21, Ribery proceeded to make 81 senior appearances and scored 16 times.

His appearance at the South Africa World Cup four years ago was hit with controversy as he was served a three-game match ban by the French Football Federation for his part in the team’s strike.

France will be hosting the 2016 European Championships, but the 31-year-old says he will rather concentrate on helping his club side, Bayern, excel in the coming seasons.

“It’s a purely personal decision,” the ex-Marseille winger added. “I want to dedicate more time to my family and focus on Bayern Munich and leave room for all of the many great young players coming through in the national team.”

“You’ve got to know when you should retire. I’ve experienced a lot and now is time for others to move to the fore and you could see at the World Cup that we don’t need to have any worries about France’s future.

“There were ups and downs, but now is the time for a new part of my life.”

France reached the quarter-finals of the 2014 World Cup in the absence of their talisman.

He becomes the second player to opt out of French duty after Samir Nasri announced an untimely end to his international career last week.

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