‘Always at home here’ — Ribery set for Bayern return after career ends

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Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben are both leaving Bayern Munich at the end of the season. (Getty Images)
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Bayern Munich's Franck Ribery shoots at goal against Hertha Berlin at the Allianz Arena in Munich.(Reuters)
Updated 07 May 2019
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‘Always at home here’ — Ribery set for Bayern return after career ends

  • Ribery, 36, confirmed last weekend that he would not extend his current contract beyond 2019 at Bayern
  • At an emotional press conference in Munich, the Frenchman said he would continue playing for another one or two years before returning to Bayern in another capacity

BERLIN: Franck Ribery said Tuesday he will return to Bayern Munich once his playing career is over, as he prepares to end 12 years at the club at the end of this season.
Ribery, 36, confirmed last weekend that he would not extend his current contract beyond 2019 at Bayern, ending a record-breaking career at the Bundesliga giants.
At an emotional press conference in Munich on Tuesday, the Frenchman said he would continue playing for another one or two years before returning to Bayern in another capacity after retirement.
“I still don’t know what I will do next season, there are a few options,” he said.
“I will play for one or two more years and then I am 100% sure I will come back to Munich. We have already discussed a job in the club.”
“We still have a lot of time, but the important thing is I am always at home here.”
Ribery said that it would be difficult for him to leave Bayern after 12 years of service.
“It is not easy, I have experienced and won so much with Bayern. It was a fantastic time for me and my family, and I will never forget it,” he said.
Ribery, who has won 22 titles with Bayern and could claim a record ninth Bundesliga title this season, is expected to be given a roaring send-off when Bayern face Eintracht Frankfurt at the Allianz Arena on the last day of the season.
“I am excited to see what the fans do. I always had an unbelievable relationship with them and they always stood by me, even in the most difficult times.”
Ribery, whose fellow Bayern stalwart Arjen Robben will also leave at the end of this season, said that the highlight of his Bayern career was winning the Champions League in 2013.
“There are so many memories and great games, but the Champions League Final at Wembley was the best. What we did there was crazy, a dream.”
He also ranked treble-winning boss Jupp Heynckes above Pep Guardiola as the most important coach of his Bayern career.
“There were lots of good coaches, but Jupp was a very important person for my life and my career,” he said.


Celtic players celebrate after winning the Scottish Cup final against Heart of Midlothian in Glasgow on Saturday. Reuters

Updated 7 min 44 sec ago
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Celtic players celebrate after winning the Scottish Cup final against Heart of Midlothian in Glasgow on Saturday. Reuters

  • Club appoint Neil Lennon as manager on a permanent basis

GLASGOW, Scotland: Celtic claimed an unprecedented third consecutive domestic treble after coming from behind to win the Scottish Cup by beating Hearts 2-1 thanks to Odsonne Edouard’s double at Hampden on Saturday.

The Hoops were on course for a first domestic cup defeat in 27 games when Ryan Edwards shot Hearts into a shock lead seven minutes into the second half.

However, Celtic quickly responded when Edouard leveled from the penalty spot and the Frenchman sealed another clean sweep of silverware by racing clear to score the winner eight minutes from time.

Neil Lennon was offered the Celtic manager's job on a permanent basis.

Despite consolidating an eight-point lead when Brendan Rodgers left the Scottish champions to take charge of Leicester in February to win an eighth straight Scottish Premiership, and now the Scottish Cup, Lennon had faced criticism for his side’s performances and style of play.

Celtic were again disjointed for long spells and could easily have been beaten but for a bit more quality and composure from a Hearts side missing a host of key players through injury. Edouard had the only decent chance of a poor first 45 minutes when he was played in by Tom Rogic, but John Souttar slid in to make a brave block.

Hearts had not won in five games since their semifinal victory over second-tier Inverness, but they made the breakthrough with their first big chance of the game.

Sixteen-year-old Aaron Hickey fed Arnaud Djoum on the edge of the area, his miscued shot found its way to Sean Clare who backheeled to find the free Edwards to slot home.

Celtic seemed to need the shock of going behind to snap into action and leveled within 10 minutes.

Edouard was tripped by Hearts goalkeeper Zdenek Zlamal, although contact was minimal and referee Willie Collum pointed to the spot.

Zlamal could have made amends, but did not get a strong enough hand to Edouard’s penalty to keep it out.

Celtic paid a club record £9 million ($11 million) for Edouard from Paris Saint-Germain 11 months ago and he took his tally for the season to 23 when Mikael Lustig’s forward header somehow evaded the whole Hearts defense.

Edouard kept his cool to slot past the advancing Zlamal and seal Celtic’s sixth domestic treble.

 

Tuchel extends deal to 2021

Also on Saturday, Paris Saint-Germain coach Thomas Tuchel has extended his deal with the French Ligue 1 champions through to June 2021, the club announced.

The 45-year-old German took over in June 2018 and despite winning Ligue 1 has come under scrutiny after the Parisian club’s defeat to Manchester United in the Champions League last 16.

The news cuts short speculation that PSG’s owners would fire Tuchel and hire outgoing Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri.

“I’m delighted to extend my contract and commitment to Paris Saint-Germain,” Tuchel said.

“I’d like to thank the chairman and the whole club for their trust in me and my staff. This only reinforces my ambition to bring this team to the very top through hard work,” he told the club website

“I’m also very touched by the backing of our supporters, and I’m sure that the best is yet to come for our club.”