Ribery pledges future to Marseille

July 31, 2006

PARIS, July 31 (Reuters) - France midfielder Franck Ribery pledged his future to Olympique Marseille on Monday, saying he planned to stay at the club for the next four years.

'I have a contract for another four years and for four years I will still be at Marseille,' Ribery told the club's television channel.

'I love the club and the people and the fans here,' added the 23-year-old, who burst into the limelight at the World Cup, helping France reach the final.

France's top prospect had been courted by French champions Olympique Lyon and several European clubs including Manchester United.

The energetic Ribery, who is being hailed as the next Zinedine Zidane, resumed training on Monday after coming back from holiday.

He had been expected back on Saturday but Marseille officials accepted his request to return two days late.

The Ligue 1 season kicks off this weekend.