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Fired up by France

Revitalised Ribéry set for club-level comeback

On Wednesday, Franck Ribéry played for the first time in 81 days, and immediately caused a stir with his pacy dribbling and a superb assist, only for the 'goal' to be called fractionally offside. The Frenchman came on after 65 minutes of his country's 1-0 win in the Faeroes, and performed as if he had never been away. "Those 25 minutes proved that France urgently require Franck Ribéry on the road to South Africa," L'Équipe declared.

Bayern too are looking to their star player for inspiration. A stubborn knee injury caused Ribéry to miss the whole of pre-season: he only resumed the team training programme last week. Following his brief appearance on the international stage, he is now poised for a comeback with his club.

Still short of 100 percent

Coach Louis van Gaal says he will give Ribéry "twenty minutes, perhaps," at the Allianz Arena against Werder Bremen on Saturday. The France superstar is not yet ready for a start, the boss told kicker magazine: "We're still getting him back to fitness.“ After the midweek international, Ribéry himself said he is "not yet at 100 percent“.