French winger Franck Ribery has been ruled out of World Cup due to a back-injury. Ribery has been complaining of lower back pain for months and has not been playing for either the French National team or Bayern Munich since April 29. France manager Didier Deschamps was optimistic about Ribery returning after some personal training but the player seemed to have re-injured his back during training on Friday. Ribery has represented France in the World Cup since 2006 and has accumulated 81 caps and 16 goals.
Deschamps spoke of the injury with members of the media in a news conference saying, “He is not capable of training for a few weeks, let alone playing a game.”
Remy Cabella, a attacker from Montpellier, has been called up to take Ribery’s place along with Morgan Schneiderlin of Southampton who was called due to an injury to midfielder Clement Grenier. “We have to remain ambitious,” Deschamps said. “Obviously with Ribery at 100 percent we’re a better team, but we’ll try and be a good team without him.”
France has struggled with injury while preparing for the World Cup in Brazil, not only Ribery and Grenier but also goalkeeper Steve Mandanda who is being replaced by Stephane Ruffier of St Etienne.
Ribery made his first appearance for France’s senior team in the 2006 World Cup against Mexico as a 74th minute substitution for David Trezeguet. He appeared in all seven World Cup matches and started in six, including scoring his first senior goal against Spain that helped France win 3-1 in the Round of 16.
He joined Bayern Munich in 2007 for a then record deal of €25 million and has been named French player of the year three times as well as German footballer of the year, becoming the first person to hold both titles. In 2013, he won UEFA’s Best Player in Europe award and was named to the top 100 players in the world by The Guardian newspaper. He also finished third in FIFA’s Ballon d’Or in 2013.
France has been drawn into Group E along with Honduras, Ecuador and Switzerland, and will play Honduras first on June 15.