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Bayern Munich legend Franck Ribéry retires from professional football

Football will be bidding farewell to one of the greatest Frenchmen to ever grace the sport.

FC Bayern München v Eintracht Frankfurt - Bundesliga For DFL Photo by Matthias Hangst/Bundesliga/Bundesliga Collection via Getty Images

Bayern Munich legend Franck Ribéry has retired from professional football.

The French winger’s club, US Salernitana 1919, officially announced on Friday that Ribéry would be terminating his playing contract and hanging up his boots effective immediately. Due to persistent knee problems, Ribéry had not featured properly for his club for most of the season. However, at the ripe old age of 39, he will not be tarnishing his legacy at all.

“The ball stops. The feelings inside me do not,” wrote Ribéry on social media. “Thanks to everyone for this great adventure.”

Ribéry has had quite the career up until now. His early playing days were spent hopping around France, jumping from lower to higher divisions. His first Ligue 1 club was Metz, where he stayed for a season before briefly joining Turkish side Galatasaray. Afterwards, he joined Ligue 1 side Marseille, where his career really started taking off. It was while playing for Marseille that he first got called up to the French senior national team, and he played an instrumental role in France finishing runners up at the 2006 FIFA World Cup.

In 2007, Ribéry joined Bayern Munich, and his career fully blossomed. He stayed with the Bavarians for a whopping twelve years, and became one of the best wingers in the club’s long and rich history. His crowning moments came in the 2012/13 season, when he was the driving force behind Bayern’s first treble win. It was Ribéry who assisted Arjen Robben’s winning goal in the Champions League final against Borussia Dortmund. Ribéry was named UEFA Player of the Year in 2013, and should have won the Ballon d’Or if not for a very controversial revote.

Ian MacNicol Archive Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

After a star-studded twelve years in Munich, Ribéry moved to Italy and spent the final years of his career with Fiorentina and Salernitana. Having retired, the Frenchman is now expected to take up a coaching position with the latter.

It was a privilege to have a legend like Ribéry play for FC Bayern, and we at BFW hope that one day in the future, he will reunite with the club that he called for so long. We also wish Franck a blissful retirement and nothing but the best.

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