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Are the French backing Ribery...
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Are the French backing Ribery or Platini over the international retirement controversy?

Off The Ball
Off The Ball

21:41 9 Sep 2014

An obligation or a choice?

For Franck Ribery, the Bayern Munich winger believes he has served his time with the French national side, retiring at 31.

However, while international retirements are generally accepted by managers and officials, UEFA President and ex-France star Michel Platini waded in on the issue and implied that Ribery could incur a three-match for refusing an international call-up.

French football writer Xavier Rivoire spoke to us about the issue tonight and the reaction in France.

"A lot of people are supporting Platini in France. But other French people are saying that Ribery should be free to choose. A few weeks ago Ribery announced that he was not going to play for France ever again and that he was concentrating on his club football," said Rivoire, who also detailed how German football is only viewed from a considerable distance in France which makes Ribery seen as a "far away hero" and leads him not to be remembered in the best of terms when it comes to his international career. 

Rivoire also revealed that Ribery, who missed the World Cup through injury, was invited to Brazil for the quarter-final against Germany by the French FA but did not take up that offer.

Rivore explained why he believes it was a bad call on Ribery's part but thinks that manager Didier Deschamps should refrain from calling up Ribery given that France seem to have good momentum and a fresh new team.

Rivoire also beliveves that Ribery maybe "didn't have the education or support to be the role model" he was expected to be, given that his star rose very quickly from the French lower leagues to the international scenes, contrasting him with ex-Chelsea midfielder Claude Makelele who felt compelled to accept a call-up for Euro 2008 qualifiers despite having retired from France duty.

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