Freiburg’s Jonathan Schmid has surpassed former Bayern Munich winger Franck Ribery as the French player with most Bundesliga appearances. - © 2021 DFL
Freiburg’s Jonathan Schmid has surpassed former Bayern Munich winger Franck Ribery as the French player with most Bundesliga appearances. - © 2021 DFL
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Jonathan Schmid overtakes Franck Ribery as French player with most Bundesliga appearances

Freiburg defender Jonathan Schmid has overtaken former Bayern Munich winger Franck Ribery as the French player with most Bundesliga appearances after making his 274th outing in Germany’s top flight on Matchday 25.

Schmid was in the starting line-up as the Black Forest club took to the field against Mainz on Saturday.

The 30-year-old, now in his second stint at Freiburg, has played 173 of those games for Christian Streich’s side, while he also featured 23 times for Hoffenheim in 2015/16 and 78 times for Augsburg across three seasons before returning to south-west Germany in summer 2019.

Watch: Schmid thanks Ribery for message of congratulations

Ribery himself sent a video of congratulations to his compatriot upon learning that Schmid had equalled his record in the 3-0 loss to RB Leipzig last weekend, after Streich had suggested tongue-in-cheek at his pre-game media briefing that he do so.

“Hello Mr. Streich and hello Jonathan,” said the 37-year-old. “Two-hundred-and-seventy-three Bundesliga games, crazy. Only the best can achieve that. Greetings to Freiburg.”

“I’m very pleased that I’ve achieved it,” Schmid said afterwards. “It means a lot to me that Franck congratulated me. Coming from a player like him it’s something very special and I’m happy I’ve achieved this goal. I’m very proud. As a Frenchman I’ve always followed Ribery and watched his games.”

Watch: Jonathan Schmid's Top 5 Goals

Streich was also full of praise for a player he first managed in Freiburg’s U19 side in 2008: “Johnny’s had a great career and we’re all very happy about that.”

Former Hoffenheim and Stuttgart defender Matthieu Delpierre is third in the Bundesliga’s all-time appearance list for French players with 185 games, while former Bayern duo Willy Sagnol (184) and Bixente Lizarazu (183) round out the top five.

Wolfsburg midfielder Josuha Guilavogui (163) and Bayern winger Kingsley Coman (127) are the only other currently active players in the top 10.