Thursday, 7 January 2010


Zinedine Zidane describes him as the "jewel of French football", and Franz Beckenbauer - the president of his current club Bayern Munich - claims Ribery's value is as high as Cristiano Ronaldo. Rumours of his leaving the Bundesliga were at a height last summer and an £81 million price tag was demanded from any interested parties. Notable for tremendous energy levels, skill and precision passing, Franck Ribery is definitely the new golden boy of French football.

Certainly a considerable weight of expectation rests on his shoulders as the World Cup approaches. Having sneaked in the back door by virtue of their controversial play-off victory against Ireland, France will now be expected to step up a few gears in South Africa as they seek to maintain an impressive recent World Cup record - two finals in the last three tournaments and one title. Ribery played in all seven matches of France's campaign at Germany 2006, having only made his international debut a couple of weeks prior to the start of the tournament. Now he has amassed over 40 caps and his contribution to France's
unconvincing but ultimately successful qualification campaign for South Africa was significant - in particular his winning goals in the home and away fixtures with Lithuania.

It's hard to imagine France progressing to the latter stages in South Africa if Ribery does not perform. He is a potential star of the tournament and the World Cup is the ultimate stage for great players to showcase their talents. It's the arena where sometimes the transition is made to another level of greatness. At 26 years of age, this could be Ribery's best chance to write himself into French football folklore alongside the likes of Zidane and Platini.

No comments:

Post a Comment