Munich - "He's done a decent enough job," chuckled FC Bayern Munich skipper Philipp Lahm in response to a query as to whether his team-mate Franck Ribery had ever been in better form than this season.
"Insatiable appetite for success"
The German international knows as well as anyone that even in this record-breaking season for Munich's star ensemble, if the contribution of one player was to be singled out above all the others, would more than likely be at the head of the queue.
With ten goals and 14 assists to his name, the French No7, who turned 30 in April, was directly involved in more or less a quarter of FC Bayern's mammoth 98-goal Bundesliga tally. That, of course, is far from the whole story, which takes in Ribery's inimitable raids down, and cutting in from, the left wing - not to mention a much-improved facility for putting in the defensive legwork over the recently ended Bundesliga campaign. In short, the once-temperamental diva has developed into a reliable onfield leader and the overall package is, in the words of Bastian Schweinsteiger, "absolutely world-class."
On the books at Bayern since the summer of 2007, the French international recently indicated that he would be more than willing to extend his current contract beyond 2015 and indeed see out his playing days in the Bavarian capital where he feels altogether "very happy." Ribery puts his revitalisation under Jupp Heynckes down to enjoying the full confidence of Bayern's outgoing coach, who for his part has noted that, "Franck's got an insatiable appetite for success."