Bayern Munich winger Franck Ribery has sensationally revealed how he came close to signing for Real Madrid and Barcelona, reports Spanish publication El Mundo Deportivo.
The 30-year-old France international arrived at the Allianz Arena in the summer of 2007 leaving Marseille for a then club-record €25million fee, and he insists he holds no regrets over his decision to snub advances from both Spanish giants in favour of a move to Germany.
"It is true that two or three years ago there were contacts with Madrid and Barcelona," he confirmed. "But, I decided to stay here and I do not regret it.
"I've been here six years, I feel at home."
During his time in the German capital, Ribery has won several trophies, including three Bundesliga titles and two German Cups, but so far the prestigious Champions League crown has surpassed him, falling twice at the final hurdle as a losing finalist with Bayern Munich in 2009 and 2012.
This year, Ribery is determined to go one step further and win Europe's elite club competition, but first Jupp Heynckes's side must get past his old suitors Barcelona in the semi-final, to set up a Wembley final showdown with either Borussia Dortmund or Real Madrid, depending on the outcome of the other last four clash.
Speaking ahead of next week's first leg clash with Barcelona, the Frenchman dedicated a few special words to his international team-mate Eric Abidal, who recently made his playing return at Camp Nou after recovering from liver surgery.
"I am delighted for him because he went through a very difficult situation," Ribery added. "He is very strong and a very good person. We have contact by phone."
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