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A frank Ribéry: his scar, the 2013 Ballon d’Or, and Kingsley Coman

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Bayern Munich’s veteran winger may bear many scars, but feels he still has much to give - to Bayern and teammate Kingsley Coman.

Bayern Muenchen v SG Sonnenhof Grossaspach - Friendly Match Photo by Sebastian Widmann/Bongarts/Getty Images

As questions surround his future with Bayern Munich, Franck Ribéry has been especially open in recent time, discussing a wide range of subjects both personal and professional. Ribéry recently discussed two difficult moments in his life in an interview with the French cable channel Canal+ and also addressed his future with Bayern and teammate Kingsley Coman in an interview with Sport Bild.

Childhood scars

Abandoned at a monastery as a baby, Ribéry was 2 years old when he was involved in a terrible car crash that changed his life. The accident left his face was permanently scarred, and though they made things difficult for him as a kid, Ribéry has opted not to have his scars surgically removed as an adult. Ribéry said his scars helped to build his character and personality:

You’re a kid and you have a scar like that, it’s not easy . . . The way people see you, the criticism . . . My family suffered a lot. People saying: “Look what he has on his face, look at that scar, it’s ugly . . . Even though I was young and it bothered me a lot, I never went to a corner to cry . . . Never. But I suffered.

Bitterness over the 2013 Ballon d’Or

Ribéry also revealed that he is still bitter about losing the vote for the 2013 Ballon D’Or to Cristiano Ronaldo. In 2013, the French winger had won the treble with Bayern Munich, including the Champions League, but eventually he finished third in the vote behind Ronaldo and Messi.

Ribéry controversially blamed his compatriots for a lack of support:

I felt like I was stolen; it’s incomprehensible. I won every possible trophy. I could not have done more than that. It was an injustice. I did not even have my country supporting me. I saw it with my own eyes, French guys saying that Cristiano Ronaldo should win. Do you think in Portugal they would have voted for Messi or Ribéry? I do not think so; do you think Argentina wanted Ronaldo to win Messi? Impossible.

Ribéry secured only 23.36% of the votes, Messi 24.72% and Cristiano Ronaldo 27.99%, in an issue that sparked controversy due to the unexpected prolongation of the voting window.

High praise for Kingsley Coman

Ribéry also recently spoke about his future and compatriot Kingsley Coman, who is at the same time his chief competitor at Bayern. Ribéry had high praise for the young man's contributions to the team, while he also suggested that there is indeed enough playing time for both of them:

King has done well so far this season; that’s huge for the team. But King is still young, he still needs a little more experience. The season is long. No player can play 50 games at 100%.

Moving from on the pitch to off it, Ribéry also emphasized his role as a leader in the locker room, saying, “My presence is very important for the team, for the atmosphere. It’s not only about what I do on the pitch.”

But the legendary winger, now 34 year old, also wanted the Bayern bosses to know that he feels he can keep playing. “I feel good, I can play for two more years at the highest level,” he said. Bayern will decide in the coming months whether Ribéry will spend those coming years at Bayern.