Franck Ribery has revealed that former teammate Luca Toni helped convince him to join Fiorentina after leaving Bayern Munich at the end of his contract.
The Frenchman, who made 425 appearances across all competitions for Bayern, has sign a two-year contract with Fiorentina.
Why did Ribery leave Bayern? Five key things to know…
- Ribery spent 12 seasons at Bayern Munich, joining from Marseille in 2007.
- The 36-year-old’s contract expired this summer.
- Bayern physio Gianni Bianchi claims Ribery was offered a one-year extension.
- But Bianchi believes the winger left because he ‘wants to feel important’.
- Ribery has now signed a contract until 2021 with Fiorentina.
His departure from the Allianz Arena marks the end of an era at Bayern, coinciding with the exit of his long-serving teammate Arjen Robben.
The duo played crucial roles in multiple Bundesliga title wins for the club and were key to Bayern’s Champions League glory in 2012/13.
— ACF Fiorentina (@acffiorentina) August 21, 2019
Ribery scored a total of 124 goals for the Bavarians, including seven in his final season.
Bayern’s Italian physio Gianni Bianchi has claimed the veteran winger no longer felt “important” at Bayern, which was part of the reason he turned down a one-year contract extension.
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“Franck wants to feel important,” Bianchi said. “He chose not to continue with Bayern despite having the option for another year because he no longer felt at the centre.
“Our country (Italy) has always fascinated him and with me he has learned Italian. He speaks it quite well.”
Regardless of why he chose to leave Bayern, Fiorentina’s capture of Ribery is quite the coup for the Italian side, and the former France international has revealed his ex-Bayern teammate Toni played a part in his decision.
“I’m happy, I’m here with my family,” Ribery said upon arriving in Italy.
— Tuttomercatoweb (@TuttoMercatoWeb) August 21, 2019
“I’ve talked to Fiorentina for the past week, as well as with Toni, who told me Fiorentina were a great club in a beautiful city.
“I’m happy because I like being here, even the language. My grasp of it isn’t perfect, but it’s all good.”
Fiorentina’s Serie A campaign gets underway against Napoli on Saturday.