After four weeks away, Franck Ribery came back with a bang this week. The Frenchman excelled on his comeback with two assists in the DFB Cup against Schalke before providing some added sparkle to Bayern's 3-0 win at Cologne.
After contributing a goal at the weekend, he had plenty to say and smile about after the final whistle at the RheinEnergieSTADION. bundesliga.com caught up with the legendary winger at full-time...
Question: Franck Ribery, your teammate David Alaba called you a machine – whenever you come back from injury, you're always straight back to your best. You scored a goal in this game – how do you do it?
Franck Ribery: When you're mentally strong and your teammates are happy to have you back on the field with them, then that does you good. It's great, truly.
Watch: Ribery delighted with Bayern form:
Ribery: They're just the proof that things are working well within the team at the moment. I've always said that we need everybody if we want to win many titles and now we're just missing two of them – Renato Sanches, who's a bit ill, and Jerome Boateng, who's working really hard on his comeback and wants to be back in action again as soon as possible. We had plenty of players on the bench who would normally be expected to play, and the lads who were out there did a great job.
Question: At the start of the year, there were a lot of very tight games with narrow victories. Have you now moved on from that to start winning games comfortably again?
Ribery: This is the way we've got to continue. It's great to win games like this, but you can't keep winning every game 3-0 or 4-0. Things are going very well at the moment, but now we've got the three most important months of the season in which we're going to need all of our players.
Question: During the week, you said that you're feeling like you did when Bayern won the treble. Can you tell us what gives you that feeling?
Ribery: When you're playing the way we are and when things are working the way they are right now, then it gets you into the right mood. We want to win something together and even those on the bench are fully focused and, like me now, ready even for half an hour or 20 minutes.
Question: You also said last week that you feel you're still lacking 20-30 percent. How do you feel now?
Ribery: I still don't have the power for 90 minutes. Today's game was very important for me to get back into my rhythm. I'm feeling better all the time.
Question: How much are you enjoying working under Carlo Ancelotti, who seems to be keeping a cool overview all the time?
Ribery: He's got a good way of dealing with his players and talks a lot, instilling a lot of confidence. He's relaxed and cool. He's a great coach and I've been a player for a long time and cherish this kind of a relationship with my coach. He asks us a lot, but in the end we've got to do as he says. He's very similar to Jupp Heynckes in terms of his mentality.
Question: Do you think Bayern have hit top form at just the right time?
Ribery: We've been playing well and scoring lots of goals and we were always in control in Cologne after we took the lead. Maybe we were a bit tired, but we did a good job.
Question: Bayern now have a seven-point advantage over RB Leipzig. Does that mean the title's as good as in the bag?
Ribery: We've taken a big step towards the title, but we've definitely not won it yet.
Question: Do you think your compatriot Anthony Modeste is a candidate for the France national team?
Ribery: I think so. He's got the quality and he's playing a good season. He's a good player so why not?
Question: What sort of a game are you expecting in the Champions League on Tuesday against Arsenal? It's almost like a friendly after your 5-1 win in the first leg…
Ribery: No, it's certainly not going to be a friendly. We're playing in a great stadium against a good team in the Champions League. We want to win this game. It's important for our self-confidence.
Question: It could be Arsene Wenger's last game in the Champions League. What would you say about his career?
Question: The past three or four years have maybe been a bit tough for him, but other than that he's done a fantastic job at Arsenal. He's won many titles and is a great coach, and a great person.
Tobias Gonscherowski reporting from Cologne