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‘It's fantastic for us’

Superstar Ribéry draws the crowds

Fifteen of the first-team squad are away on international duty and the head coach is taking a short break, but the Säbener Strasse facility was a hive of activity on Wednesday. Some 1,500 fans flocked to Bayern’s first training session of the week, where they watched not only the reserve squad and the senior players who are still in Munich, but also Franck Ribéry.

Following the commotion surrounding the France squad at the World Cup, the winger is currently serving a three-match suspension imposed by his national association. Instead of fighting for Euro 2012 points, Ribéry will spend the next few days working out at the Säbener Strasse, much to Louis van Gaal’s delight. “The fact he’s not joining up with his national team is fantastic for us,” the Bayern coach enthused.

Break good for Ribéry

Following surgery on both his groins, the player only resumed the team training programme in early August. The international break now offers the 27-year-old a chance to knuckle down to a serious training schedule and continue his quest for full physical fitness. “It means he can carry on with his programme. That's very good news for Franck,” commented Van Gaal.

“Having three days off and spending time with my family has helped clear my head,” Ribéry told “But the hard work starts now. We have to prepare for the next task against Bremen. It’ll be a tough match, but we’re determined to win.”