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Good days, bad days

Mystified Ribéry yearning for his boots

For the time being, both Franck Ribéry’s big toes are heavily bandaged and encased in freshly-laundered, loose-fitting hotel slippers. Franck was unable to wear football boots on Bayern’s third day in Dubai, and worked out in the fitness suite rather than on the field. “He’s not even coming out in sneakers now,” reported his friend and team-mate Daniel van Buyten.

“There are good days and bad days,” explained Ribéry, troubled by inflamed bruising to his big toes ever since the squad’s arrival in Dubai. “It’s very painful,” grimaced the 26-year-old, at a loss to explain the origin of the problem: “I just don’t know. I trained completely normally on Sunday in Munich, and I wasn’t wearing new boots or anything. It started hurting in the plane on the way to Dubai, and I was treated on arrival. The doc drained a lot of blood and water.”