French football president urges Ribery to rethink retirement

Despite the Bayern Munich attacker’s announcement on Wednesday, Noel le Graet still hopes the 31-year-old will make a return for les Bleus in the future

Noel le Graet, president of the French Football Federation (FFF), has called for Franck Ribery to reconsider his retirement from international duty.

Ribery announced the end of his France career on Wednesday, citing his increasing focus on club football and his family as reasons to step aside for the younger generation.

But le Graet believes the decision has been made too early by the 31-year-old Bayern Munich winger.

“We have been made aware about yesterday’s comments from Franck Ribery concerning his international career,” said le Graet.

“Such thinking, for a player so talented, cannot be the result of a single analysis and cannot be definitive, while his professional career has some good years ahead.

“The decision is also for the coach, the man who carries the interest of the French national team. How could France do without one their best players if he plays for one of the biggest clubs in the world?

“How could les Bleus go without one of the best players of their squad as we approach Euro 2016, which will be in France? All these are legitimate questions because the France team cannot be refused.”

Ribery has made 82 appearances for France and le Graet believes his inherent competitive spirit could be enough to tempt him to return to international action before Euro 2016, which will be hosted in his homeland.

He added: “Franck loves the France team and has shown all of his commitment to the blue shirt. He’s also a born competitior, destined to play in the biggest international competitions. And this involves the France team.

“I am sure he will reconsider his decision if he refinds his best form.”

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