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Ribery fired up for champions Stuttgart

If Franck Ribéry could already speak and read German, he would have enjoyed perusing Monday morning’s newspapers. Reporters responsible for following Bayern oozed nothing but praise for Saturday’s convincing 4-1 League Cup quarter-final victory over Werder Bremen. Even sober and strictly objective specialist weekly kicker spoke of the “Red Giants”, as the sense of excitement and expectation surrounding the new-look Bavarians continues to gather pace.

Ribéry has made a significant contribution to the euphoric mood. Not content with scoring two of his team’s goals, he was a constant whirlwind threat to the overwhelmed Werder defence, combining outstandingly with Bastian Schweinsteiger on several occasions. “We’re both young players with a feel for the ball, and we actively go looking for possession. We don’t waste time thinking about it, we just try and play instinctive football and enjoy ourselves,” the France star remarked on Monday.

Ribery seeking to improve

A promising partnership is under construction, but still has plenty of room to improve. “I have to get to know my team-mates even better, and they have to learn about me. We need to develop an instinctive understanding,” he reflected. Ribéry and Co can further that process in competitive conditions on Wednesday when Bundesliga champions VfB Stuttgart host Bayern in the League Cup semi-final.

The newcomer is looking forward excitedly to the clash. “I’m curious. They won the title, and they’ll be there or thereabouts next season. It’ll be a good test of where we stand.” Ribéry is hoping for a repeat of the gala show against Bremen when the men in red travel to Stuttgart. “We want to reach the final,” insisted the devout Moslem, who prays before every match.

Private joy for Franck and Wahiba

Ribéry firmly believes in his own strengths, insisting he has the required stamina for his fluid, hard-running game: “I’m feeling good, and I always give it 100 percent.” Coach Ottmar Hitzfeld believes Ribéry represents “a massive stroke of luck for the club,” and is convinced he will be “a major attraction in the Bundesliga.“

Ribéry has made a tremendous start to the latest chapter in his professional life, and also has extremely good reason for private joy. “My wife Wahiba is three months pregnant. I’m looking forward to the arrival of our second child,” the 24-year-old revealed on Monday. It is genuinely hard to imagine a better first few weeks in Munich.