This week, Les Bleus, France’s national team registered three key players departures: Eric Abidal, 34 (Olympiakos, GR) Samir Nasri 27( Manchester City) and Frank Ribéry, 31 (Bayern München) .
Even if the first two retirements were expected, the first due to the player’s age and the second to a certain misbehaviour versus the manager, Didier Deschamps, Ribéry’s announcement was unexpected. The player wasn’t with the team in Brazil (injured) but with the next Euro Cup taking place in France in only two years time, it was reasonable enough to think that he would wait till then.
So, why this change of heart ? Ribéry chose a german media, Kicker for a very brief communiqué , already a first sign about the “desamour”, the luck of love, between him, the french fans and Les Bleus management.
“ The moment came for me to spend more time with my family, he said, and also stay in good form for my club; there were some ups and downs with the national team, but now it’s over and it’s time for our talented youngsters to continue in my place.”
Retirement at only 31, with the Euro, just around the corner? Difficult to believe such allegation. There have been problems between the german doctors and those of the french national team, about the player’s injury,( injections or not injections ?), resulting Ribéry’s withdrawal from the World Cup. Is Bayern pushing the french international to stay away from France, hoping to regain his former fitness and therefor be as decisive for the Germans, as during the last season?
Are the French supporters happy about this retirement? Oh yes, they are. In social medias, but also in different polls as newspaper’s L’Equipe, 69% are glad to get rid of him. For manager, Didier Deschamps, is a good deed too. After a well run World Cup, he can now continue with the same players, without being obliged to find excuses about re-integrating the midfielder… or not !
It’s well known that the fans tend to forget quickly, some events , as Ribéry’s contribution that helped France to join the other nations in Brazil. Those were difficult times, especially Karim Benzema’s luck of scoring, during 1222minutes!
Without any doubt , the former Bleu, is not a saint; his beheaviour during the World Cup in South Africa, was shocking and cheating his wife with an under age prostitute was far from any exemplary behaviour and disastrous for the country’s good image.
Ironically though, Ribéry’s last national contribution was to pose for the Official team’s picture; he left Clairefontaine, the training center , a few hours later.
What image will leave this exceptional player? Will he be remembered for all the trophees gained with Bayern, his third place at the “Ballon d’Or” competition, the trophee of best UEFA player for season 2012/2013 or his luck of french grammar, his outbursts and private’s life tabloids feed ?
At only 31 years old, 81 Caps, 16 goals, Ribéry might be “Le Grand Abscent” of France’s Euro 2016; a competion in which, “Kaiser Frank” should or would be at last, King in his own country.