‘This Summer’s Most Wanted’ – Franck Ribery

The future of Bayern Munich and France midfielder Franck Ribery is set to dominate the back pages again this summer. Ribery has put Chelsea, Manchester United, Barcelona and Real Madrid on alert following his comments last week. Amidst reports that Ribery has already signed a pre-contract agreement with Real Madrid, Ribery told The Sun,

“I haven’t signed anything with anybody yet…Last season, I had many possibilities with Manchester United, Real, Barcelona or Chelsea… I want to play with the most competitive team as possible, the one that will give me a chance to win as many trophies as possible, whether it is Bayern or another.”

The Frenchman, who turns 27 in April, claims that he will want his future decided before the World Cup begins in the summer, and hopes to have a decision made as early as March. The Frenchman was reportedly the subject of a £63million bid by Alex Ferguson last season, following the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo, but has also been continually linked with Real Madrid, Chelsea and Barcelona. Ribery is set for talks with Bayern officials this coming March, with Bayern reportedly ready to break the bank to keep their prize asset.

Franck Bilal Ribery was born in Boulogne-Sur-Mer in northern France. The Frenchman has the nickname ‘scarface’ owing to the players famous facial scars sustained after he flew through the windscreen of a car aged 2. Ribery’s ascent to international prominence gathered pace during his time with Olympique de Marseille between 2005-07, with Ribery earning his first cap for Les Blues in May 2006. Two weeks later Ribery started for France in their opening match of the 2006 World Cup against Switzerland. Ribery eventually played in every match at the tournament, Zinedine Zidane describing the player as “the jewel of French football”. In 2007, Ribery’s appearances for Marseille and France led to interest in the player from some of Europe’s top clubs, however the player somewhat surprisingly chose to move to Bayern Munich in a move worth €25million. Ribery has made 62 appearances for Bayern, scoring 21 goals, whilst recording 41 caps for France, scoring 11 times.

Ribery’s long-term knee injury has kept him out of action for much of the season, restricting the player to just 12 appearances for club and country this season. However, with the French international approaching full fitness, Ribery and his agent Alain Migliaccio, have reminded Europe’s elite clubs that the player’s contract is winding down, and he may be available this summer, with Bayern thought to be extremely reluctant to risk losing the player on a free transfer when his contract expires in 2012. Ribery’s agent has expressed an interest in seeing his player line-up alongside Lionel Messi for Barcelona, but Ribery is said to be keeping his options open, although his departure from Bayern is widely expected come the summer.

Check out some of Ribery\’s tricks and goals here…