'Never forget what we have achieved' - Bayern confirm Ribery departure
BERLIN – Bayern Munich veteran Franck Ribery has said he wants to leave the Bavarians celebrating a league and cup double after confirming that he will end his 12-year spell at the Bundesliga club after this season.
In a statement on their website on Sunday, Bayern announced the Frenchman would not extend his contract beyond June 2019.
“When I came to Bayern it was a dream come true, it is amazing that I have been here for 12 years,” said Ribery, 36, who joined in 2007 and has won eight Bundesliga titles and five German Cups since then.
“It won’t be easy to leave, but we must never forget what we have achieved together.”
“I hope that we can win the Bundesliga and the German Cup before I go.”
Ribery said he did not yet have any plans for next season.
“I don’t want to think too much about what is coming next, I just want to enjoy every day here with the team,” he said.
“I will play football next season of course, but I am not 100 percent sure where.”
Bayern also announced they would organise a “big farewell game” for both Ribery and fellow stalwart Arjen Robben, to be held in 2020.
Robben, 35, confirmed his impending departure at the end of last year, and it was widely expected that Ribery would follow suit, as Bayern prepare for a squad overhaul ahead of next season.
The two wingers have been defining stars in a dominant decade for Bayern, winning the Champions League in 2013 as well as a host of domestic titles.
“Franck and Arjen are great players, and Bayern Munich have a lot to thank them for,” said club CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.
“They helped shape the most successful decade in the history of the club.”
Robben made an emotional return from injury and Ribery scored in a 3-1 win over Hanover on Saturday.
The win lifted Bayern four points clear of title rivals Borussia Dortmund, and put them on the brink of a seventh successive Bundesliga title.
They face RB Leipzig in the German Cup final at Berlin’s Olympic Stadium on May 25.AFP