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- Franck Ribéry (born 7 April 1983) is a French international footballer who plays for German club Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga and for the France national team. He primarily plays as a winger, preferably on the left side, and is known for pace, energy, skill and precise passing. Ribéry is described as a player who is fast, tricky and an excellent dribbler, who has great control with the ball at his feet. Since joining Bayern, he has been recognised on the world stage as one of the best French players of his generation. The previous talisman of French national team, Zinedine Zidane, has called Ribéry the "jewel of French football".
Ribéry's career began in 1989 as a youth player for local hometown club Conti Boulogne. He left the club after seven years to join professional outfit Lille, but departed the club after three years after having difficulties adjusting. In 1999, Ribéry joined US Boulogne, where he played for two years. After spending two more years in the amateur divisions with two different clubs (Alès and Brest), in 2004, Ribéry earned a move to Ligue 1 club FC Metz. After six months with the club, Ribéry moved to Turkey in January 2005 joining Galatasaray where he won the Turkish Cup. After six months at Galatasaray, he departed the club in controversial fashion in order to return to France to join Marseille. Ribéry spent two seasons at the club helping the Marseillais reach the final of the Coupe de France in back-to-back seasons. In 2007, Ribéry joined German club Bayern Munich for a then club-record fee of €25 million. There, he has won the double on two occasions; in the 2007–08 and 2009–10 seasons. In 2010, Ribéry reached with FC Bayern the 2010 UEFA Champions League Final, but was unable to participate in the match due to suspension. In 2012, Ribéry reached the final again, but Bayern lost against Chelsea on penalties. Finally in 2013, Ribéry won the Champions League with Bayern Munich in a "German" final against Borussia Dortmund.
Ribéry is a French international. Prior to representing the senior team, he played at under-21 level. At senior level, Ribéry has represented his nation at two FIFA World Cups and two UEFA European Football Championships. He made his international debut in May 2006 against Mexico. At the 2006 World Cup, Ribéry scored his first international goal against Spain and played in the final match against Italy. Individually, Ribéry is a two-time winner of the French Player of the Year award and has also won the German Footballer of the Year becoming the first player to hold both honours. He has also been named to the UEFA Team of the Year and declared the Young Player of the Year in France.
In 2013, Ribéry was ranked as the third-best footballer in the world by Bloomberg.
Ribéry primarily plays as a winger and is described as a player who is "fast, tricky, and an excellent dribbler who has great control with the ball at his feet". Despite being predominantly right-footed and utilized as a right-sided midfielder during his development years in France, since establishing himself as an international and at Bayern, Ribéry has personally admitted that his preference is to play on the left wing even going as far as to state "My place is on the left" when asked at a February 2010 media session while on international duty. Though he is often played on the left wing domestically, Ribéry has struggled to establish himself as a left winger at international level with France due to the presence of left-footed dominant players such as Florent Malouda. Ribéry has declared that he is best utilized on the left side because "that is where I am most free and I am the best in my head". Playing on the left also allows Ribéry to use his "bursts of acceleration and weaving runs" to effectively cut inside, which gives him the options of either shooting or delivering a decisive pass. Ribéry is also capable of playing in the center of the field as an attacking midfielder where his vision and playmaking skills are best exhibited. Despite predominantly playing on the wing, he has averaged double-digits in assists every year beginning with his final season at Marseille.
Ribéry has been described as a provocateur on the field of play with UEFA describing him as "a crowd-pleaser – one of those rare breed of footballer capable of enjoying his talents while expressing them". During the 2006 FIFA World Cup, he was mentored by national team play-maker Zinedine Zidane. While boasting him as "the jewel of French football", Zidane has also praised Ribéry as a person declaring "Franck just loves life. He’s the kind of player that makes an impression every time he plays. He’s bound to become an important figure in the world of football". Ribéry's on-field personality is often matched off-field as he is often referred to as a "joker" and "prankster" by club and international teammates. The midfielder has stated that humour is very important admitting "It's important to always be smiling, to wake up and feel good. We (footballers) have a great job, we like what we do and we have fun. His more notable stunts include driving a tractor on field during one of his last matches with Marseille, in his debut season with Bayern, emptying a bucket of water over former club goalkeeper Oliver Kahn from the roof of the club's training centre, and, during the 2008–09 winter break, commandeering the team bus while in Dubai and crashing it.
On the negative front, Ribéry has often struggled with injury issues. Since his first season at Bayern in which he appeared in 46 of the club's 54 competitive matches, Ribéry has struggled with minor and serious injuries that has resulted in the player failing to appear in over 40 matches in subsequent seasons; the midfielder passed the 40-match barrier in the 2011–12 season after failing to in the previous three seasons. Ahead of the 2008–09 season, he tore ligaments in one of his ankles while on international duty and, during the 2009–10 season, struggled with tendinitis in his left knee. In the next season, Ribéry suffered an ankle injury, which resulted in the midfielder missing two months, despite the initial diagnosis ruling him out for four weeks. He later suffered a similar ankle injury at the start of the 2011–12 season. Ribéry, himself, has admitted that injuries have led to most of his five-year career at Bayern being difficult stating in July 2011 "The last two years (2009–10 and 2010–11 seasons) have been more difficult, partly because I kept picking up injuries. The important thing for me now is to avoid any more injuries"
In 2013 he was part of the treble winning team.
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Growth Type: Standard/Lasting