PARIS: France manager Didier Deschamps has confirmed the bad news which all Les Bleus’ fans feared: playmaker Franck Ribéry is out of the World Cup finals in Brazil.
Other players ruled out this past week have included German midfielder Marco Reus and Russia captain Roman Shirokov.
Bayern Munich forward has been struggling with a lower back strain for several weeks but Deschamps had waited as long as he could in the hope of a recovery.
With Clément Grenier also pulling out because of injury Deschamps – France’s World Cup-winning captain in 1998 – has sent for uncapped Morgan Schneiderlin (Southampton) and Rémy Cabella (Montpellier).
Ribery reported feeling better this morning but could not cope during training at Clairfontaine with the rest of the squad.
Deschamps said: “He has not been able to train properly for several weeks and certainly is not up to playing in a World Cup. This is not a party. We are sending medical statements to FIFA to ask for permission to replace both players.”
This would have been a last World Cup for 31-year-old Ribery who starred in the French team which lost only on penalties in the World Cup Final against Italy in 2006. He has scored 16 goals in 80 internationals.
Lyon midfielder Grenier tore a hamstring in training and broke down in tears when the severity of the injury and its inevitable consequence was diagnosed.