Franck Ribery will leave Bayern Munich at the end of the season after 12 trophy-filled years with the German record champions. One more Meisterschale will make him a record Bundesliga champion. Little wonder he’s emotional…
bundesliga.com: You were very emotional during your press conference this week. How are you feeling about saying your final goodbye soon?
Franck Ribery: “As you say, yesterday was very emotional. Many memories came flooding back at the same time. Of course, you can say that time has passed quickly; it’s already been 12 years. However, I can’t forget the time here either. It’s not easy for me. It’s not as if I’d played for Bayern for two or three years and then moved on to another club. No. We’re a family now. We’ve fought hard together, we’ve laughed, we’ve had fun, we’ve cried. We’ve had many experiences together. This makes it difficult for me. However, this is how football works and we have to accept it.”
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bundesliga.com: You said recently that you would definitely return to Munich after your playing career is over. Which role do you see yourself in at Bayern in the future?
Ribery: “Honestly, I’ve got no idea what’ll happen afterwards. Of course, I’d like to continue playing football and enjoy myself because I love football. But why not? Maybe after a year or two I’ll come back to Munich and there may be something for me with Bayern. We’ll see.”
bundesliga.com: You took David Alaba under your wing when he first broke through. Does youth-team football appeal to you?
Ribery: “I love those guys too. Whenever a youth player joins us they may be a little nervous or stressed out. I make sure to speak to them first. I think that’s important because they’re more relaxed afterwards. When I see these guys, I can see that they have a lot of quality, they want to do well and are hungry. I like that mentality.”
bundesliga.com: You have spent 12 trophy-filled seasons with Bayern. Does one moment stand out as more emotional than the rest?
Ribery: “I think an important season was 2013. I can’t forget what the team achieved, we created history both for ourselves and the club that season. I think that time did great things for me. You know that after playing for Bayern for such a long time, it’s great for us as players but it’s also nice for the family.”
bundesliga.com: Bayern are planning a farewell game for you and Arjen Robben. What does this mean for you?
Ribery: “I think Arjen’s important for the club. I’ve been here for 12 years and he’s been here for 10. We’ve gone through a lot together with Bayern. We’ve won many titles.”
bundesliga.com: And if you could pick a quality of Arjen Robben that you would like to have in your game, what would it be?
Ribery: “We’re two big players; we have a lot of quality, a lot of experience with the club and in life too…”