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Guardiola? Van Gaal? Heynckes? Ribery names 'most important' Bayern Munich coach

15:15 IST 07/05/2019
Franck Ribery, 2013 Champions League final
The winger is preparing to leave Bavaria after over a decade with the club and took time to reflect on what has been a hugely successful career

Bayern Munich icon Franck Ribery has won a multitude of titles during his time in Bavaria, with seven of those coming under the tutelage of Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola, but the Frenchman has named Jupp Heynckes as the most important coach of his career.

After spending 12 years at the German club, Ribery is preparing to leave at the end of the season, with the 36-year-old keeping his options open as he and Arjen Robben make space for younger wingers coming through the ranks.

And the attacker, who admits that he could continue playing for another year or two before returning to his spiritual home, has reserved special praise for Heynckes after he led the side to a historic treble in 2013.

"Everyone knows that I had a lot of good coaches but one person was very important: Jupp Heynckes," Ribery said in his final press conference as a Bayern player. "2013 was the best for us and for the fans. That was a dream.

"I don't know what I'm going to do next season – there are a few options. Maybe I'll play another year or two. After that, I will come back to Munich. We feel very comfortable here. We have a nice house and everyone knows me here.

Pressed on whether he would take up a coaching role at FCB, he said: "I have no idea. I still enjoy being on the pitch. Perhaps. We have talked about it, but we have time. A lot can happen in two years. The most important thing is that I'm at home in Munich."

Having spent so long with Bayern, any conversation about leaving the club and playing his last game in Munich was bound to stir the emotions, but Ribery admits his talks with club chiefs Uli Hoeness and Karl-Heinz Rummenigge also threw up some good laughs.

"We have always had a good relationship and a mutual respect," Ribery said of the pair. "It was hard, but sometimes you have to have these conversations. It was funny and emotional. We've experienced a lot together.

"[My last game] will be nice for me and my family, but also very difficult and sad. My relationship with the fans has always been incredible. I also had some difficult situations but the fans have always been with me. I will never forget that."

Bayern are currently four points clear of second-placed Dortmund at the top of the Bundesliga with just two matches remaining.

That means that, should they beat RB Leipzig on Saturday, they will be crowned champions for the seventh season in a row.