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Bayern regained some pride as they exited Europe by drawing 1-1 with Barcelona, and the star of the show was Franck Ribery, who Carlo Garganese believes can challenge Lionel Messi as the best player in the world if he leaves Bavaria…

If you play as a support striker behind the slow and hulking Luca Toni these days, and still look world class, then you have to be a very special player. Franck Ribery proved that once again tonight as he lit up the Allianz Arena with a majestic free-flowing personal display.

Unfortunately for Ribery, his team-mates - Toni included - were not at the same level. This has been the recurring theme all season and, with transfer speculation rife, surely Ribery must now recognise that the time is right to leave Munich in order to further his career at a club that can match his talent and ambition.

Ribery’s goal tonight oozed class. You could count on one hand the number of players around the world who would have dummied the goalkeeper onto the floor the way he did. In fact two of those who perhaps would have play for Barcelona, Andres Iniesta and Lionel Messi, players who could be Ribery’s team-mates next season if some press stories can be believed.

Ribery would not be out of his element at Barca – he would be a star in the correct position. The only one possible area he could slot in would be on the left flank in place of Thierry Henry, who turns 32 this summer. Whether or not the ex-Arsenal man, who has been reborn this campaign, would be offloaded or consider leaving is highly debatable though.

An ordinary Bayern exit the Champions League, but not without Ribery leaving his mark. With six assists, no one has created more goals this season, and with four goals, Ribery is also near the summit of the top-scorer standings.

As a side-note, I would strongly recommend that Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola does not play Gerard Pique against Chelsea in the semi-final. The centre back was horrible tonight, playing Ribery onside for the goal, dragging down Toni in what should have been a penalty, and being positionally all over the place. If Pique plays, the chances of Chelsea upsetting Barca will certainly increase.

Carlo Garganese, Goal.com

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