Franck Ribery might be 33 years old but it turns out the Bayern Munich star isn’t too old for a dressing down from his club captain.
Philipp Lahm, once described by Pep Guardiola as the most intelligent football he’s ever coached, scolded his teammate during a press conference on Wednesday.
The reason? Lahm has warned Ribery over his behaviour after he elbowed Borussia Dortmund defender Felix Passlack during last weekend's DFL-Supercup encounter. (Scroll down this page to watch the video).
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Ribery was under pressure from Passlack, 18, who received a nasty arm in the face for having the audacity to try and win back possession for Dortmund.
It was a moment of madness by Ribery, who was rather fortunate that referee Tobias Welz opted against brandishing a card. He could have seen red for the incident.
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Video: Ribery’s elbow on Passlack
Or watch it in GIF form here...
Lahm warns Ribery over behaviour
"I have told him that he should keep his hands off his opponents," Lahm was quoted as saying by Goal. "I think he understands what I mean, but you cannot just change his character altogether, that is rather difficult.
"I just hope that things like this do not happen again in the future, but I obviously cannot guarantee anything."
Ancelotti also warned Ribery this summer
This is the second time in less than three weeks that Ribery has been criticised by a respected figure at the Allianz Arena for his on-pitch conduct.
At the end of July, Bayern’s new head coach Carlo Ancelotti warned the Frenchman following an off-the-ball incident in a pre-season friendly against Inter Milan.
He was the only player booked during the match.
Ribery happy Ancelotti has replaced Guardiola
Ribery failed to produce his best form on a consistent basis under Pep Guardiola and admitted he feels “trusted” again following Ancelotti’s arrival.
“Under Ancelotti I finally feel trusted again,” Ribery was quoted as saying by the Daily Mail. “He's a great coach. I need people like him, Jupp Heynckes or Ottmar Hitzfeld.”
However, with Douglas Costa and Kingsley Coman both competing for a starting spot on the flanks again this season, Ribery may find himself on the bench more often than not - particularly if he continues to disappoint with his behaviour.
Is it time for Bayern Munich to part company with Franck Ribery? Have your say by leaving a comment below.
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