Frank Ribery has expressed his growing frustration over a foot injury which has left the Frenchman clueless to whether he will be able to recover in time for the beginning of the 2015/16 Bundesliga season.
The 32-year-old, who has scored 104 goals in 299 appearances in all competitions since joining Bayern from Olympique marseille in 2007, has had a campaign to forget following a string of injuries which has meant that he has only featured a mere 23 times for the German champions this season.
Having missed the start of Bayern’s Bundesliga-winning campaign with a muscular injury, the former French international only showed fleeting glimpses of his attacking pedigree, before succumbing to a foot injury described by many as “peculiar”, during the Bavarians' 7-0 victory against Shakhtar Donetsk in a last-16 Champions League tie back in March.
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Despite only being expected to miss Bayern’s next three games, complications which led to a relapse in the 32-year-old's recovery meant that Ribery failed to feature in the clubs last 16 fixtures of the season.
Everyone is to blame
Indeed, a lack of knowledge regarding the Frenchman’s injury and his failure to recover in time for Bayern’s crunch end of season fixtures which saw his club knocked out of both the UEFA Champions League and DFB Pokal at the semi-final stage led to the club being deeply scrutinised by the German media.
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Such was the extent of Ribery’s injury that long-serving team doctor Hans-Wilhelm Müller Wohlfahrt left the Allianz Arena outfit after apparently falling out with manager, Pep Guardiola, over the progression of the 32-year-old’s condition.
Nearly two months later and there is still no sign that Ribery is anywhere near making a comeback, with the midfielder also clueless to when he will return to the sport.
I have to be fit
Although a potential date for his return is yet to be announced the Bayern winger vented his frustration by telling German newspaper Bild, that he “must be fit by 1st July” when the whole team return from their summer break to prepare for the start of the 2015/16 Bundesliga campaign.
Speaking to a Bild reporter, the 32 year said: “I really hope that I will be able to run again soon. I have to be 100% fit by 1st July. I am not sure if it is possible, but I am going to give everything.”
Despite being heralded as one of the best attacking players in Europe and having been voted as the world’s third best player by FIFA in January 2013, Ribery has blasted that he is lost without playing football, and that his injury has made him feel like a prisoner.
“It is a catastrophe. I have everything in my life that anyone can dream about having. But I am not free. I am only thinking about my foot. I want to run! And I want to work! I want to play. I must train in order to feel happy," he explained.
"I didn’t have much fun on holiday. My foot has improved, but it is still not perfect.”
Whether Ribery returns in time from his injury to be presented to the Allianz Arena faithful in July is another matter, but the Frenchman finished the emotionally interview by stating that: “I am hungry and I want to play.”
Football fans, would Bayern have won the Champions League if they had Ribery fit and firing when they played Barcelona? Let us know in the comments box below.