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Supporters hail Ribéry’s scintillating start

A few weeks into Franck Ribery’s spell as a Bayern player, local media were already hailing the gifted Frenchman as the club’s new Kaiser. The Emperor has now officially been crowned after the summer signing from Olympique Marseille scored a runaway victory in our poll to find the best Bayern player of the first half of the season.

The 24-year-old midfielder garnered a record 68.8 percent of the votes cast, finishing streets ahead of Luca Toni (9.0 percent) and Zé Roberto (5.3 percent). The reasons for the runaway success are clear enough, as the France winger has transformed the Bavarians’ attacking game since his arrival. “He was the best player in the first half of term,“ Ottmar Hitzfeld agreed. The number seven’s trickery and skill were a major factor in the Reds occupying top spot at the midway point in the league campaign.

Superb start

Ribéry became an instant crowd favourite, not merely for his range of prodigious skill on the ball, but for his unstinting efforts on behalf of the team. In 16 Bundesliga appearances to date, the midfielder chalked up seven scorer points (4 goals, 3 assists), with five appearances and five assists in the UEFA Cup and one run-out and an assist in the German Cup. Munich loyalists voted him Player of the Month in August and November, and he was named French Player of the Year in his home country last December.

“It’s been a good first six months. My family and I have settled well in Munich,” Ribéry himself reports, content with both his professional and private life: his second daughter Shahinez was born in January. “It could be a great year, with Bayern in the league, the Cup and the UEFA Cup, and with France at the Euro. In fact, with a bit of luck, it could be a truly fantastic year,“ he declares, looking forward to a starring role for club and country.

Luca in December

Although he captured the overall award for the first six months of the season, Ribery is not the only man singled out by Munich supporters for praise and recognition. In our vote for the December Player of the Month, Italy goal-getter Luca Toni rounded off 2007 with a flourish, topping the poll with 40.3 percent of the votes, ahead of Ribéry (17.7 percent) and Martin Demichelis (8.2 percent).

T-Home presents the Bayern Top Ten in the first half of term:
1. Ribéry 68.8 %
2. Toni 9.0 %
3. Zé Roberto 5.3 %
4. Klose 4.6 %
5. Demichelis 2.8 %
6. Lell 2.2 %
7. Kroos 1.4 %
8. Kahn 1.3 %
9. Van Bommel 1.1 %
10. Lucio 0.6 %

T-Home presents the Bayern Top Ten in December 2007:
1. Toni 40.3 %
2. Ribéry 17.7 %
3. Demichelis 8.2 %
4. Klose 5.6 %
5. Zé Roberto 5.3 %
6. Kahn 5.2 %
7. Podolski 3.8 %
8. Schweinsteiger 2.3 %
9. Van Bommel 2.2 %
10. Lahm 2.0 %