Franck Ribery says he’ll be back by Club World Cup
MUNICH (AP) — Bayern Munich winger and Ballon d’Or candidate Franck Ribery says he will recover from his rib injury in time for next month’s Club World Cup in Morocco.
Earlier, Bayern coach Pep Guardiola told reporters he feared Ribery will be missing “for a long time,” without being more specific.
But Guardiola also said he hoped to have Ribery back for the Club World Cup that starts Dec. 14 in Morocco.
“We have one month until the final in Marrakech. I hope he can play this tournament,” Guardiola said.
“By then I’ll be able to play for sure,” Ribery told the online edition of Kicker magazine. “I think I’ll be able to play in 10 to 14 days, maybe with pain, but then so be it. I’ll just have to play through it.”
Ribery cracked a rib in France’s 3-0 victory over Ukraine on Tuesday that qualified the French for next year’s World Cup in Brazil.
Bayern originally indicated that Ribery could be back as soon as next week.
Guardiola spoke before Bayern’s trip to Dortmund for the Bundesliga game on Saturday. Both teams are missing several top players.
Ribery is seeking to crown an outstanding season with the Ballon d’Or award as FIFA’s player of the year. His season includes a treble with Bayern — the Champions League, Bundesliga and German Cup titles.
He could win a fourth major title in Morocco but that will not have any bearing on the Ballon d’Or ballot, which has been extended until Nov. 29.
Ribery’s main rival is expected to be Portugal and Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo.
“We all know what a great player he is. Of course he deserves it too, but the ballot is about the entire year and I also have my arguments,” Ribery told Kicker.