Two-goal Ribéry sends Bayern into raptures

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All Bavarians were looking forward to the Christmas holiday after the 3-0 victory over Frankfurt, but Franck Ribéry might have preferred to go on. The 35-year-old was on fire in the last few weeks, scoring four goals in the last three Bundesliga matches, two of them against Eintracht on Saturday evening.

The Frenchman was the decisive factor in the German record champions' last match of the year. "Franckie was the man of the match," said Hasan Salihamidzic: "He was outstanding today, and not only because of his two goals. He was involved in all crucial moves." A look at the stats confirms the sporting director's statements. Ribéry turned in ten kilometres and was the Bavarian involved in the most challenges. He had to be treated repeatedly on Saturday.

Record brace

But the wing wizard kept going. More than 42 percent of Bayern's attacks came down his left wing. Ribéry turned in 31 sprints, second only to David Alaba on 32. After 78 minutes he charged towards the box and had only keeper Kevin Trapp to beat after a give-and-go with Joshua Kimmich. Ribéry did not make perfect contact but still slotted the ball past Trapp to double Bayern's lead and round off his brace.

He had put Bayern in front after 34 minutes, Robert Lewandowski inviting the Frenchman to crash home. It was Ribéry's tenth Bundesliga brace. At 35 years and 259 days he is now Bayern's oldest player to score more than one goal in a Bundesliga match. His strong display away to Frankfurt made his team-mates doubt his age.

'I love FC Bayern, and Bayern love me.'

Franck Ribéry

"Chapeau, Monsieur Ribéry. I think he turned 22 yesterday," said Thomas Müller with a grin, whereas the number 35 is irrelevant to Karl-Heinz Rummenigge: "There are no old players, only good and less good players. And as we've seen this week Franck is still a very good player," declared the Bayern chairman.

"Franck is fantastic," Niko Kovac agreed. "What he does in training, what he does on the pitch, and what he does for the club and the team off the pitch is immense." Ribéry gives it everything, which makes the difference. "When I'm out on the pitch I give 100 percent for the team and the club. I've been here for almost 12 years. I love FC Bayern, and Bayern love me," said the winger, looking forward to the free days despite his run.

"We must enjoy the holiday now, we need it. I work hard, I had no inuries this year. I hope that'll be the case next year too, after the holiday. In 2019 we have to pick up where we left off." Ribéry has ambitious goals, and in light of his current form a lot is possible.

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