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Van Gaal opts to leave Ribéry at home

Friday was a full day of work for Franck Ribéry. In the morning, the Frenchman reported to Thomas Wilhelmi for a gruelling fitness workout, and in the afternoon he rejoined the squad for the final training session prior to the opening fixture of the new Bundesliga season. However, Ribéry is not a member of the squad for Saturday’s away trip to TSG 1899 Hoffenheim.

“He’s staying in Munich,” reported head coach Louis van Gaal. Ribéry had trained well, the boss said, “but two training sessions isn’t enough to build him into the team.” After weeks struggling with a knee injury, the 26-year-old finally resumed the team programme on Wednesday.

Nevertheless, Ribéry will still be travelling this weekend. Following a telephone conference between Van Gaal and France coach Raymond Domenech, the Bayern boss agreed to release the attacking midfielder to join up with his national squad. “We agreed that a change of air could be the best thing for him."