France coach Didier Deschamps has heaped praise on Franck Ribery for shedding his reputation as a troublemaker in order to fulfill his potential on the field, claiming that just "two years ago, most people wanted to burn him alive".
The 30-year-old winger was among those sanctioned for his involvement in the rebellion against former les Blues coach Raymond Domenech during the 2010 World Cup.
However, having beat off competition from Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi to win Uefa's Best Player in Europe Award last week, Deschamps has saluted the Bayern Munich star for now making headlines for the right reasons.
"This award is known all around the world so we can be proud of him. We must not forget that two years ago most people wanted to burn him alive," he told a press conference.
"Everybody knows his qualities, they can make the difference. It will help us [France] that we have someone like Franck."
France travel to Georgia on Friday in their World Cup qualifying campaign, before turning their attentions toward Belarus on September 10.