Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola has defended winger Franck Ribery amidst a lot of criticism that the French winger should give a lot of more to the club than he has in recent years.
Ribery was on the shortlist of the FIFA Ballon d’Or award a few years ago, but he has struggled with injuries since then. He has just managed to 19 league appearances in the last two seasons. Overall, he has been unable to make more than 30 appearances since the end of the 2013-14 campaign. This leaves Bayern Munich with a major handicap especially on the European front.
Going back several years, Ribery has been able to make more than 40 appearances in only three of his nine seasons at the club. Despite this poor fitness record, the player still remains a bankable asset even at the age of 32.
Guardiola steps into his final six months at Bayern Munich after announcing that he will leave the club at the end of the season. He will hope to have Ribery for this period since it will give Bayern the best opportunity to win the Champions League, which is the one title that Guardiola has failed to win in his time at Germany.
For this reason alone, his time at Bayern has been seen as a failure.”I spoke to Franck after the press conference before the Monchengladbach game and asked him how he felt, and he said he was feeling top and wanted to fly with the team.I then asked him how he felt for Zagreb and whether he preferred to start or come on in the second half.We were already through to the next round anyway, but the match practice would have done him good to get into a rhythm,” said the Bayern Munich manager.