Franck Ribery's career is in danger and the Bayern Munich player could even be forced into early retirement. The physical condition of the French international, according to L'Equipe, has prompted him to think about putting an end to his 14 years as a professional. The 32-year-old has struggled to recover from an ankle injury.
Although his agent, Jean-Pierre Bernes, has denied retirement is an option, L'Equipe have reported words from Ribery and from Bayern president Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, placing doubt on Ribery's recovery. "Franck has suffered too many stoppages in recent seasons, we should have counted on him in a more continued manner. But it's clear that, statistically talking, he has missed a lot of games in recent seasons because of injuries," Rummenigge declared.
Bayern's top dog is making reference to Ribery's lack of continuity at the Bavarian club. In eight years at the German champions, Ribery has missed 79 of a possible 272 Bundeslige games through injuries, which L'Equipe point out is nearly two and a half whole seasons. In the last two seasons, his presence has dipped. Because of physical problems, he has not played in 55 percent of the games since Pep Guardiola took charge.
Ribery has not hid his worries about his constant struggles. "I've been in Paris and Ibiza on holiday, taking my physio with me. I thought it would help, but I hardly had any fun,” he said during the course of the last season. "I couldn’t do what I wanted to do, like jet ski or drive a boat. It was crap. The injury is getting on my nerves, it’s a catastrophe. I have everything which one can only dream of in life, but I am not free. I am only thinking about my foot. I want to run and I can't."
Despite those alarming comments, his agent, Bernes, is not concerned. "Franck is not the type to give up. On the contrary: He's desperate to return to playing and he doesn't know when that will be, so he is worried about the situation," Bernes said. "He is doing everything to return and he wants to end his career in a good way, not like this."
However, there is a deep concern at Bayern about the player's fitness after he missed the end of the season as Bayern fell in the semi-final of the German cup and the Champions League. For that reason, they are in talks with Rennes winger Paul-Georges Ntep, according to Bild. Ntep, 22, scored 10 goals in 35 Ligue 1 games last season.