Ribery: Bayern can repeat treble win

Speaking ahead of the Club World Cup, the winger feels lifting the trophy in Morocco would be “a perfect end” to the year – but warns they are out to do it all again in 2014

Franck Ribery has insisted that Bayern Munich can storm to a second successive treble this season as the Bavarians prepare for this month’s Club World Cup.

Die Roten are in Morocco ahead of Tuesday’s semi-final clash with AFC Champions League winners Guangzhou Evergrande, with a final against host side Raja Casblanca or Copa Libertadores winner Atletico Mineiro up for grabs.

The French winger, who is one of the three players left in the running for the Ballon d’Or alongside Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, sees no reason why the Bavarians cannot be back at the tournament in a year’s time by defending their Champions League, Bundesliga and DFB-Pokal crowns.

“We want to and can defend all three titles next year,” Ribery, 30, is quoted as saying by Bild.

“Winning the Club World Cup would be the perfect end to a super year.”

Despite his confidence that an unprecedented second treble in a row can be achieved under Pep Guardiola this season, Ribery played down suggestions that Bayern have the Bundesliga title secured already despite their nearest contenders falling behind the champions’ relentless pace at the summit.

“We must not think that we have won the title, that goes without saying,” the France international added.

“It doesn’t matter if Borussia Dortmund and Bayer Leverkusen are 12 and seven points behind us respectively. We must continue to concentrate and work.”

Bundesliga Team of the Week: Kroos & Gotze star for Bayern

The Roten duo both scored in the 3-1 win over Hamburg on Saturday and feature alongside the likes of Lukasz Piszczek and Adrian Ramos in our latest selection

The 16th matchday of the 2012-13 Bundesliga again belonged to Bayern Munich, who beat Hamburg 3-1 at home as Borussia Dortmund and Bayer Leverkusen both dropped points, though there are noteworthy performances across Germany included in Goal‘s weekly best XI.

Wolfsburg have enjoyed an excellent first half of the season and were once again on song as they beat Stuttgart 3-1 at home on Saturday, with Diego Benaglio a particular star between the sticks in the triumph.

Joining the Swiss goalkeeper is his team-mate and countryman Ricardo Rodriguez, who continued his impressive form this season with his third Bundesliga goal. Another goalscoring defender was Lukasz Piszczek, who got Dortmund’s second in the 2-2 draw against Hoffenheim. On the other side of the Rhein Neckar Arena pitch was Niklas Sule, who put in another performance which belied his tender age.

Leonardo Bittencourt helped Hannover deny Nurnberg their first win of the season by salvaging a draw despite being 3-0 down, Johannes Geis was the star of the show as Mainz held in-form Borussia Monchengladbach, while Toni Kroos and Mario Gotze were among the scorers for Bayern. Augsburg, meanwhile, cemented their place in midtable by beating Eintracht Braunschweig 4-1 thanks in part to Andre Hahn‘s double.

Hahn’s team-mate Halil Altintop was also on target for the Bavarian outfit and features up front alongside Hertha Berlin’s in-form forward Adrian Ramos, who took his tally for the season to 10 with a pair of strikes in a thrilling 3-2 win over Werder Bremen in the capital on Friday.

Ribery: Club World Cup Bayern's final target

The Frenchman admitted his side are expected to win the Club World Cup but doesn’t expect that or the holiday atmosphere to derail their search for silverware

Franck Ribery has acknowledged Bayern Munich are firm favourites to lift the Club World Cup in Morocco this month and says the trophy is the club’s final target at the end of a magical year.

The Bavarians lifted the treble under Jupp Heynckes last season and have made an impressive start to life with Pep Guardiola, after topping the Bundesliga and their Champions League group.

Ribery was speaking at a press conference alongside team-mate Manuel Neuer ahead of their semi-final tie against Chinese side Guangzhou Evergrande on Tuesday and is adamant FCB are desperate to win the trophy.

“Obviously we still have two games we need to win,” Ribery told reporters who had gathered at the team’s base in Agadir.

“If we take the trophy it’ll be a good holiday, both mentally and for our families.

“I don’t know much about the Chinese team [Evergrande] but we’re certainly favourites.”

Bayern have already secured four trophies this season, including their historical treble and goalkeeper Neuer believes success in Africa will be the perfect way to end a special year.

“The Club World Cup is our last target this year,” claimed Bayern’s number one.

“We’ve been very successful but we’re looking for the crowning glory now. It’s a very special competition for us.

“We want to win the cup so we’ll definitely have the right attitude.”

European sides have enjoyed a lot of success in the competition with the Champions League winner going on to win the competition on five of the last six occasions.

Sahin concedes Bundesliga title: Bayern too far away

The Turkey international has thrown in the towel after Die Schwarzgelben slipped 12 points behind Pep Guardiola’s side after a 2-2 draw at Hoffenheim

Borussia Dortmund’s Nuri Sahin has given up on winning this season’s Bundesliga title, arguing that leaders Bayern Munich are “just too far away”.

Jurgen Klopp’s men had to come from two goals down to snatch a 2-2 draw at Hoffenheim on Saturday, a result which saw them fall 12 points behind their Bavarian rivals, who defeated Hamburg at the Allianz Arena.

Sahin admitted afterwards that third-placed Dortmund have already left themselves with too much to do in terms of winning the title.

“I do not think that anyone among us is so naive to still hope to compete with Bayern,” the midfielder is quoted as saying by Ruhr Nachrichten.de. “They’re just too far away.”

Sahin added that Dortmund were deservedly punished for their profligacy against Hoffenheim.

“If you score two goals away from home, you are normally doing quite well,” the Turkey international is quoted as saying by his club’s official website.

“But we conceded two totally unnecessary goals in the first half, and so we first had to find a way back into the game.

“We had plenty of chances to score more goals, and we only have ourselves to blame for not taking them. We, the entire team, must find ourselves again, and then we will bounce back for sure.”

Lewandowski: Ribery deserves Ballon d'Or more than Ronaldo

The Borussia Dortmund striker feels that the Frenchman should be recognised for his superior work-rate and the role he played in Bayern Munich’s treble triumph

Robert Lewandowski believes that Franck Ribery would be a more deserving recipient of this year’s Fifa Ballon d’Or than Cristiano Ronaldo.

The pair have been shortlisted for the prestigious prize along with Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi, who is bidding for his fifth title in a row.

However, many pundits suspect that it will be a straight fight between Ribery and Ronaldo, and Lewandowski feels that the France winger has the edge on account of his superior work-rate and treble success with Bayern Munich last season.

“I’d vote for Ribery,” the Borussia Dortmund striker told Przegladem Sportowym.

“Cristiano Ronaldo’s statistics are impressive – individually, he’s doing great things and setting new records.

“However, Ribery offers more in defensive areas and helps the team a lot all over the pitch. And last season he won everything there was to win.”