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Ribery calls time on international career

Franck Ribery

Berlin: France winger Franck Ribery is ending his career with the national team to focus on his club and family. Ribery, who missed World Cup through injury, made this announcement on Wednesday.

“I quit,” the 31-year-old said in an interview to a German magazine. “I realised that this moment has come.”

Ribery, who was part of the France team that finished runners-up at the 2006 World Cup and also Europe’s Player of the Year in 2013, said he wanted to make way for a younger generation of players.

“I want to focus on my family, fully concentrate on my work at Bayern Munich and make way in the French national team for the many young and exciting players,” he said.

The Frenchman has been playing club football at Bayern since 2007 and won a treble of domestic and European titles in 2013. “One has to know when to stop.

“I have experienced so much and now is the time for others to come forward. You could see at the World Cup that we should have no concerns about France’s future.”

Ribery, who won 81 caps and scored 16 international goals since making his debut for France in 2006, battled to be fit for the World Cup. But despite intensive treatment he failed to make it to Brazil, where France lost 0-1 to Germany in the quarter finals.

“I was treated (for a back injury) around the clock and went to several doctors in Paris. But in the end, the pain was still so much that playing was not possible,” Ribery said.

“There were highs and lows, but now is the time to start a new chapter in my life,” he said.

Ribery’s France career was also marked by a players’ revolt at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa with he being at the forefront of the strike in support of forward Nicolas Anelka.