FRANCK RIBERY has announced his retirement from football at the age of 39.
The former Bayern Munich and France winger took to social media to reveal the news.
He wrote on Twitter: “The ball stops. The feelings inside me do not.
“Thanks to everyone for this great adventure. 🙏🏼.”
Ribery had a hugely successful career spanning 22 years and nine clubs, the last of which was Serie A side Salernitana.
His most productive spell came at Bayern Munich where he scored 86 goals in 273 games.
He helped the German side win Bundesliga on nine occasions between 2008 and 2019 and won the Champions League in 2013.
Ribery also played for Galatasaray, Marseille and Fiorentina and won 19 trophies in total, including the Club World Cup.
The veteran also represented France 81 times and finished with a runners-up medal at the 2006 World Cup.
Ribery will perhaps be most fondly remembered for his role in the Bayern side that won the Champions League, as he and Arjen Robben were devastating on the wings.
The Frenchman was recognised for his performances that year with a third-place finish in the 2013 Ballon d’Or, but he felt he should have won the prize instead of Cristiano Ronaldo.
He also took exception to the FIFPro World XI that year in a passionate rant.
Ribery said: “I won everything I could win with Bayern and individually. Ronaldo, on the other hand, did not win anything. I am not sad that I missed out, but it does hurt a bit. I deserved to win the Ballon d’Or.
“It was clear that Ronaldo would win it. The voting deadline was extended by two weeks. This had never happened before. It wasn’t about football. It was a political decision.
“There are only three Bayern players in there [the FIFPro World XI]. That’s madness. [Thomas] Muller deserves to be there, and so do [David] Alaba, [Bastian] Schweinsteiger and [Arjen] Robben.
“We won five titles and made history. And then there’s the absence of Borussia Dortmund players. Where are [Mario] Gotze and [Robert] Lewandowski? This is impossible.”
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