'Win, win, win!'
Franck Ribéry is celebrating his ten-year anniversary at FC Bayern this week. The Bavarian Frenchman was officially presented as a new signing (together with Luca Toni) on 7 June 2007 and took part in his first training session at Säbener Straße on 3 July 2007. Since then, the 34 year-old has become an institution at the club.
In the week of his anniversary, Ribéry caught up with fcbayern.com for an interview. In part two he discusses matters such as the FC Bayern mentality, his countryman and new teammate Corentin Tolisso as well as his goals for the new season.
Interview with Franck Ribéry, part 2:
Franck, how have the first days of training after the break been?
Ribéry: “Good. Obviously a lot of players still aren’t back. But the youngsters who are training with us are doing well. They have quality. After the tour in China we’ll be complete and then we’ll be working hard to be ready for the first match of the season.”
What’s it like in the dressing room and on the pitch without Philipp Lahm und Xabi Alonso?
Ribéry: “To be honest, we haven’t really noticed their absence yet because lots of other players are also not there. But I think when the whole squad’s back, we’ll be wondering: where’s Philipp? Where’s Xabi?”
During your first ever Bayern training camp, you said: “Football is fun for me, not torture.” How much of a torture element is there in pre-season now, ten years later?
Ribéry: “It’s certainly different nowadays. I’m 34 years-old, my body’s changed. I never used to do stretching or massages, but now I need them after every training session. I also get moving 20 minutes before training. My body demands it, I have to accept that.”
When you came to Munich, Willy Sagnol was still playing. Now Willy’s back as assistant coach. How was it seeing each other again?
Ribéry: "It was nice. Willy brings a lot of experience, he knows Bayern very well, he knows football. I’m pleased he’s back.”
Next Monday, the French faction at Bayern will get even bigger when Corentin Tolisso starts training. What can you tell us about him?
Ribéry: “I don’t know him yet, we’ve not spoken. But I’ve heard he’s a good player. He’s still young and he’s making a big step to another club and another country. I’ll help him to settle in here.”
What awaits him at Bayern?
Ribéry: “A special mentality, different to the one in France. He needs to learn that quickly. He’ll also have to fit in with the team quickly and work hard on the pitch.”
What makes the mentality at Bayern so special?
Ribéry: “When you come to Bayern, you need to know that you’re always expected to win here. You always have to be focussed and give everything for the club and the fans. Your only thought must be: win, win, win! Every game! If you’ve won a game in midweek, you need to forget it the next day because on Saturday you need to win again.”
You’ve won everything with Bayern and been European Footballer of the Year. What ambitions do you still have?
Ribéry: “I just want to keep enjoying myself on the pitch. I want to have a good season and win the Bundesliga and DFB Cup. It would be my dream to win the Champions League too.”
Where do you get this never-ending desire for success from?
Ribéry: “It’s just in my nature. I’m always hungry. When I’m on the pitch or in training, I always want to win. I can’t say: I’ve won the Bundesliga seven times, the DFB Cup five times – what happens now doesn’t matter. No, I don’t want to regret that I didn’t give 100%.”
You could become a German champion for the eighth time this season, joining Oliver Kahn, Philipp Lahm, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Mehmet Scholl.
Ribéry: (smiles) “That would be nice. That’s something we have to achieve.”