Wing wizard 'hungry' for more
The Allianz Arena clocks showed 20 minutes had been played when the Bayern fans chanted their hero's name for the first time on Saturday afternoon: "Oh Franck Ribéry!" Shortly before that the Frenchman had scored what proved the match-winner in the narrow but deserved 1-0 victory over Eintracht Frankfurt. The ball looped up off Lukas Hradecky's boot as the visiting keeper saved a Götze effort. Ribéry did not hesitate, volleying the loose ball over the netminder with an acrobatic sideways scissors kick from 16 yards out.
"I saw the ball coming at me and just gave it a go," Ribéry commented after the final whistle, when the last chants had faded. "I've never scored a goal like that. It was very special for me and for the fans." The 32-year-old made the difference with his second goal this season, playing on his left wing in such a serene and confident manner that his recent lengthy spell on the sidelines almost seemed irrelevant.
The crowd-pleaser was sidelined from March to December with a stubborn ankle injury and, after only two appearances, faced yet another injury spell until February due to a pulled thigh muscle. But now Ribéry is back! He set up the most shots on goal (3), sent over the most crosses (4) and was involved in the most one-on-ones (26) of all the Bayern players against Frankfurt, crowning his performance with his first goal in 2016. The pent-up emotion poured out following his success.
"I work a lot every day, I fight for the team. I can't tell how fit I am right now. I'm feeling better with every game," reported the winger, who is fired up for the upcoming phase of midweek games. "We have to regenerate well for Tuesday," he commented on Saturday evening, his focus turned to the Champions League encounter with Benfica. "We have to give 100 percent!" Of course Ribéry aims to play his part in the match staged two days before his 33rd birthday: "I'm hungry, I always want to play. As long as my body tells me I can run I'll run." Oh Franck Ribéry!