In 2008, Bayern Munich refused to offer the “world record” to Franck Ribery. The former Chairman of the Board, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, revealed this in picture on sunday.
“We had a fantastic offer for Franck Ribery, which at that time would have meant a world record fee in terms of transfer fees,” Rummenigge said, without naming the club.
Ribery moved from Olympique de Marseille to Munich in 2007 for €30 million. By 2008, the record fee in football was 77.5 million euros. For this amount, Zinedine Zidane was transferred from Juventus Turin to Real Madrid in 2001. Ribery’s bid should be at least €77.5 million.
“Then I sat down with Uli Hoeness, our chief financial officer at the time, Karl Hopfner, to make a pioneering decision. We decided not to give up on Frank – and not to sell more players so important to the team’s quality factor,” Rummenigge explained.
Ribery stayed with Bayern for 12 years before moving to Fiorentina in 2019 after 124 goals and 182 assists in 425 competitive matches. The 38-year-old French player now plays for American club Salernitana in Serie A.
Rummenigge: Ribery’s decision a ‘turning point’
Rummenigge said the decision not to part with Ribery represented a “turning point” for Bayern Munich. “It was finally clear: we are a buying team, not a sales team,” the 66-year-old said. “It was a brave decision, but this was and remains one of the main reasons for Bayern’s current success.”
The Munich team recently won the German championship nine times in a row. In addition, they have achieved two Champions League victories and five DFB Cup victories in the past nine years.
Rummenigge, who has been vice president and chairman of the board of directors with a decisive influence on Bayern’s fortunes for 30 years, handed over his position to Oliver Kahn in 2021.
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