Ribery: I will not make France comeback

The gifted attacker has made it clear that a return to the national team is not an option as he intends to solely focus on his club duties

Bayern Munich attacker Franck Ribery has insisted that he has no intention of making a France comeback after retiring from international football earlier this summer.

The 31-year-old was heavily criticised for his decision to say farewell to the national team by Michel Platini and the Uefa president even threatened Ribery with a ban if he were to ignore a call-up from Didier Deschamps.

However, Ribery – who missed out on the World Cup through injury – has stressed the matter has long been sorted with Deschamps and he is keen to focus on his club duties from now on.

“I have already said before I have retired from international duty and I will not go back on my decision,” the attacker told Der Welt.

“I have discussed this with France coach Deschamps and we reached an agreement on it.

“I want to focus completely on Bayern Munich in the future. That’s all I want to say about the matter. I am not going to get involved in all the politics surrounding my decision.”

Ribery made 81 international appearances for France, scoring 16 goals.

'Mourinho would be a great if Pep did not exist' – Valdano

The Argentine has slammed the Chelsea manager in his explosive new book, criticising his style and comparing the Portuguese boss negatively to his coaching rival

Ex-Real Madrid Director General Jorge Valdano says Jose Mourinho would only be seen as a coaching great if Pep Guardiola did not exist.

Valdano, a former Madrid player, coach and sporting director, held his most recent position with Los Blancos for two years until being sacked in 2011 after his relationship with the Portuguese trainer had deteriorated and he lost the resulting power struggle.

The 58-year-old has taken a fresh swipe at the Chelsea boss, saying the former Bernabeu coach had nothing worthwhile to say about football and suggesting he falls short of Bayern Munich boss Guardiola – the coach of Madrid’s bitter rivals Barcelona for the first two years of Mourinho’s stay – by comparing him to Italian composer Antonio Salieri.

Writing in his book ‘The Eleven Powers of the Leader’ Valdano said: “If Guardiola is Mozart, then Mourinho is Salieri. He would be a great musician if Mozart did not exist.

“Mourinho is a personality made for these noisy and empty times. I never heard him say something about football, in public or in private, that was worth remembering.

“I could never understand him as we were coming from opposite poles. Intelligence and egos are enemies – when they clash, the ego wins.”

Valdano expanded on the comments in his book during an interview with El Larguero, admitting that Mourinho’s methods do get results but that the Chelsea boss’ biggest failure was his lack of Champions League success in three years with Madrid.

He said: “Mourinho is a professional, passionate and winning coach but his thinking on the game is very different than mine. He is much more interested in results and he often gets them.

“But he had one of the best squads in the history of Real Madrid and always remained just outside the door of the Champions League. That was the big challenge which he did not manage to succeed at.

“I have not heard from Mourinho’s camp about my book – I do not have a close relationship with them.”

Hummels blasts Bayern's "calculated" attacks on Dortmund

The Germany international has blasted his former club’s CEO for trying to destabilise BVB by publicly revealing the alleged figure of Marco Reus’ buy-out clause

Mats Hummels has accused Bayern Munich of repeatedly making “calculated” attempts to “weaken or unsettle” Borussia Dortmund.

The defender came through the youth team ranks in Bavaria before leaving for BVB in 2009, after a year on loan at Signal Iduna Park.

However, despite his close ties with Bayern, he is appalled by what he feels are deliberate and underhanded attempts to destabilise Dortmund, citing Karl-Heinz Rummenigge’s recent comments on Marco Reus’ buy-out clause as a case in point.

“Bayern have had difficulties for us for years, which is why they try to weaken or unsettle us,” the Germany international told Transfermarkt.

“Look at the way Karl-Heinz Rummenigge recently betrayed the alleged contract details of Marco Reus – such statements are calculated.

“But the fact that Bayern deals with us is actually the greatest praise.”

Hummels also feels that Dortmund, who won successive Bundesliga titles in 2011 and 2012, believes that Jurgen Klopp’s side have upset Bayern with their on-field excellence and argues that they would have claimed even more trophies at their rivals’ expense had it not been for poor officiating.

“What if we had had the luck of the referee on our side in the Champions League final [in 2013 when Dante controversially avoided a red card] and the DFB Pokal final [last season when Dortmund had a fair goal not given] – and not Bayern?”

“I think they know that these two victories were lucky and that they could have been very different.”

Hummels admitted that he could easily still be at Bayern today had fate not intervened – but insisted that leaving the Allianz Arena was the key moment in his career to date.

“If Bayern had not bought Breno in 2007 for €12 million, I would not have left,” he argued.

“But that’s the way football is sometimes: I was practically forced towards happiness. It was the best thing that could have happened to me.”

Consequently, while Hummels has been linked with the likes of Manchester United and Barcelona in recent times, he has no intention of leaving Dortmund, which is precisely why he insisted against having a buy-out clause in his contract.

“I wanted to set an example with the extension I signed and it will run for five years until 2017.”

Gotze: I'd like to play abroad some day

The 22-year-old attacking midfielder only arrived at the Allianz Arena last summer but he is open to the idea of playing outside Germany in the future

Bayern Munich starlet Mario Gotze has revealed an interest in moving abroad at some point in his career.

The 22-year-old only joined the German champions from Borussia Dortmund last summer, after the Bavarians agreed to meet his €37 million buy-out clause.

However, Gotze, who has yet to nail down a regular starting berth in Pep Guardiola’s starting line-up, has now admitted that he is open to the idea of playing outside Germany in the future.

“Being abroad would be attractive for your character; there are good examples of that,” the attacking midfielder mused in an interview with Sport Bild.

“But I haven’t yet had any serious thoughts [about it]. I’m very, very happy that I am at Bayern, and playing in Germany.

“[I want to play] as long as possible. [Former Germany team-mate] Miroslav Klose is 36 and still playing.

“Since I could have another 14 years ahead of me, you have to wait and see how things go; where the path leads…”

Gotze, of course, was Germany’s match-winner at this summer’s World Cup, scoring the only goal in the 1-0 win over Argentina in the final. However, he is uncomfortable with his hero’s tag.

“Football makes people happy, but it’s not a matter of life or death,” he reasoned

“Doctors and nurses – they save lives and do much more than all of us footballers. They are heroes to me.”

Ribery declares himself fit to face Stuttgart

The Frenchman has shrugged off lingering knee and back problems and says he is ready to return to Bundesliga action

Franck Ribery has declared himself fit for Bayern Munich ‘s Bundesliga clash with Stuttgart on Saturday.

The winger has been in the headlines in recent days after Uefa chief Michel Platini suggested he could face disciplinary sanctions if he fails to turn up in the event of being selected for the national team, despite having announced his retirement from the international game last month.

Ribery missed the World Cup in Brazil after suffering a back injury shortly before the finals, and is yet to feature in competitive action for Bayern this season after struggling with knee problems.


HE’S BACK | Ribery trains after shrugging off knee and lumbar problems this week

Bayern head coach Pep Guardiola stated on August 21 that the 31-year-old would be out for “two or three weeks”, and on Tuesday Ribery claimed he was now ready for action.

“I’m feeling good and I’m fit for Saturday,” he told Bayern’s official website following a training session.

“Now I just need to find my rhythm.”

Bayern have also insisted the matter of Ribery’s international involvement “has been resolved” and are adamant he would not receive sanctions for his decision to opt out of France duty.