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F. Ribéry

Bayern legend Ribery retires from football and reveals he faces operation on persistent knee problem

11:56 BST 22/10/2022
Ribery Salernitana
Franck Ribery has announced his retirement from football aged 39 due to a knee issue, but will remain at Salernitana in a non-playing capacity.
  • Ribery retires aged 39
  • Needs operation on serious knee injury
  • Becomes technical collaborator at Salernitana

WHAT HAPPENED? Ribery - who won the Champions League with Bayern - has called time on an exceptional career for club and country that saw him establish himself as one of the best wingers in world football at his peak. Discussing his decision to retire mid-season, Ribery explained he will undergo an operation to fix a serious knee problem.

WHAT HE SAID: Speaking to La Gazzetta dello Sport, as quoted by GOAL Italy, the 39-year-old opened up on his decision. "I still felt good three months ago," he said. "A great pre-season retreat, then the first pains in the knee after a round robin in July. At the first championship against Roma I played on pain. I am not a fragile person, but for the three days I couldn't move.

"The doctors said the situation was very serious. I tried to recover. I couldn't believe I was forced to stop. I wanted to choose when to say enough," he added: "Less than a month ago I went to Munich for a consultation. I thought: maybe a solution is found. Instead I will have to operate, but only to be able to lead a normal life."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: The news is a huge blow to both Ribery and Salernitana, who have lost their veteran winger early in the season. But while a knee issue has forced the Frenchman into retirement, he won't be saying goodbye to the Serie A side completely; Ribery will work alongside head coach Davide Nicola as the club's technical collaborator.

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WHAT NEXT FOR RIBERY? After recovering from a knee operation that will hopefully allow him to live a comfortable life off the pitch, Ribery will take up his role alongside Nicola at Salernitana, as they continue to impress in the Italian top flight.