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Franck Ribery is set to retire from professional football, aged 39

Franck Ribery is set to retire from professional football, aged 39

The former Marseille, Bayern Munich and Fiorentina winger planned to play into his 40's.

Franck Ribery is set to retire from professional football, according to reports in France, with ongoing injury problems playing a key role in his decision.

The 39-year-old, who joined Salernitana from fellow Serie A side Fiorentina last year, was hoping to play into his 40's after memorable spells with Galatasaray, Marseille and Bayern Munich, amongst others.

But the former France international – a nine-time Bundesliga champion – has been out since mid-August with knee issues.

In fact, Ribery has suffered from frequent cartilage issues and growing pains in his knees for some time, according to French publication L'Equipe, and it's taking a toll on his playing career.

So much so that he is set to hang up his boots 'imminently' after undergoing several examinations on his knee.

Image credit: Alamy
Image credit: Alamy

Ribery will reportedly terminate his playing contract with Salernitana and take up an ambassador role at the club until the end of the season.

The Frenchman has enjoyed a trophy-laden career since making his debut for Boulogne in 2000.

His most prolific spell came during an incredible stay at Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich, where he lifted nine Bundesliga titles, six DFB-Pokal and a Champions League trophy in 2013.

In fact, during that year, many believed Ribery should have been awarded the Ballon d'Or prize after notching 22 goals and 18 assists for Bayern Munich, who won the Bundesliga, Champions League, UEFA Super Cup, German Cup and FIFA Club World Cup that season.

Despite his achievements at club level, however, the Frenchman only received 23.36% of the vote, while five-time winner Cristiano Ronaldo garnered 27.99% of the votes to win the prize after he netted 66 times in all competitions.

Six years later and Ribery opened up about the decision in an interview with L'Equipe.

"More than a disappointment. It's the biggest injustice of my career," he said.

"Not only for me, for many people. I was on top and I finished 3rd. I had nothing to envy Ronaldo or Messi that year. I say it in all humility because it is the truth."

The former Bayern man can certainly look back at his career with pride, however. He made 81 appearances for his country during an eight year period, and was once recognised as one of the best wingers in world football.

What are your favourite memories of Ribery?

Let us know in the comments.

Featured Image Credit: Instagram/franckribery7 - Alamy

Topics: Franck Ribery, France, Bayern Munich, Fiorentina, Serie A