We all love to see the age old custom of players swapping jerseys after matches, but Franck Ribery took that tradition to a new level last weekend after Bayern Munich’s final league match against Vfb Stuttgart. After the final whistle had blown, the Frenchmen was seen just inside the tunnel at the Allianz Arena exchanging shirts with one of the line officials from the match, Christian Fischer.
Speaking on his unorthodox act of kindness (via AZ), Ribery said that he wanted to reward Fischer for completing his last match of the season, and that he was more than happy to trade jerseys with him:
The line ref had his last game, and he wanted to exchange jerseys with me. I was happy to do it. That’s great! It shows the respect that we have for the referees.
Players trading their tops with officials, although a tasteful gesture, is something you rarely see after matches, and even Ribery admitted that it was the first time he’s ever done so:
I had never exchanged jerseys like that; it’s really something different.
Fischer was likewise appreciative, comically commenting on how well Ribery sported the light blue linesman shirt: “I think the gesture is nice, and he’s wearing the jersey with pride after all.” In hindsight, Franck Ribery is exactly the Bayern Munich player you’d expect to do something like this, as the Frenchmen is no stranger to some good-humored hijinks with the refs.