Crying and wearing the number seven shirt for the last time, Franck Ribery bid farewell to his fans in Italy. The former Munich star, who ended his impressive career with chronic knee problems, completed a winning run in Salernitana’s 1-0 win over Spezia Calcio on Saturday to standing applause from the crowd.
“I was hoping for a different ending,” the 39-year-old said in his emotional farewell.
On Friday, Ribery explained in a two-minute video that his knee pain had been getting worse “despite all his efforts” in recent months and that there was no other way than to end his football career.
Ribery, who was named Europe’s player of the year in 2013 and still holds champion status at Bayern Munich, has won a total of 25 titles in his career – including the Champions League and nine German championships.
Ribery will remain coach of his current club Salernitana, in which the Frenchman has been playing since September 2021: he has been part of the Serie A club’s coaching staff since Sunday. For this he thanked President Danilo Irvolino, who hugged him tightly. Coach Davide Nicolas also put pressure on Ribery before leaving the grass as a player for the last time.
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