Franck Ribéry: Dribble artist ends active career

The longtime FC Bayern star Franck Ribéry (39) is hanging up his football boots.

Franck Ribéry: Dribble artist ends active career

The longtime FC Bayern star Franck Ribéry (39) is hanging up his football boots. The Frenchman announced this on Friday on his social channels. "Despite all the efforts over the past few months, the pain in my knee has gotten worse and worse," explains the 39-year-old in a video. That's why he's now forced to stop playing football. "The ball is still, my feelings are not."

Ribéry can look back on an exceptional career, especially as a Bayern Munich player. In 2013 he won the UEFA Champions League with FCB, celebrated a total of nine national championships and won the DFB Cup six times. In his entire active career he completed 632 games, scored 151 goals and put on 224 hits. Together with the Dutchman Arjen Robben (38) he formed the dreaded wing tongs "Robbery". Most recently, Ribéry was active with US Salernitana in Italy.

The reactions of old companions are not long in coming. FC Bayern Munich posts a compilation of some highlights of his former number seven and describes him as "one of the greatest players in our history".

Goalkeeper legend and Bayern boss Oliver Kahn (53) raves: "You came to Munich as a filou, surprised me one time or another with the bucket of water and are now an absolute club icon. I wish you all the best for your future, you have the FC Bayern always a home. Servus, legend!" His ex-colleague Luca Toni (45) explains on Instagram: "You are number one! My brother! Franck Ribéry, champion … on the field and outside!"

The 39-year-old will still remain true to football. It was the end of his "chapter as a player", but not the end of his professional career. "You can be sure of that. See you soon at the beginning of a new beautiful chapter," said the Frenchman. This will then be on the sidelines of US Salernitana, for whom he last laced up his boots.

Salernitana coach Davide Nicola told the Italian portal tuttomercatoweb: "It's a pleasure for me that he wants to stay here, albeit in a different guise. It's a pleasure to have him on our team. He could have been anywhere around the world to work, but he has agreed to stay with us," said a delighted Nicola. Ribéry is "a potential coach," said the coach. "I still like his willingness to learn. I hope he can sit next to me on the bench tomorrow."

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