France news

Ribery sorry for annus horribilis

March 21, 2011

Franck Ribery has admitted he lost his way during a ''horrible'' 2010 and apologised for the role he played in France's World Cup humiliation.

Franck Ribery
GettyImagesFranck Ribery had a 2010 to forget

Ribery is back in the France squad for the first time since he was involved in a players' revolt at the tournament in South Africa. And the 27-year-old had a 2010 to forget: Plagued by injury, he became embroiled in a sex scandal, missed the Champions League final defeat by Inter Milan through suspension and failed at the World Cup as infighting contributed to France's early exit.

Ribery was banned for three matches after the squad refused to train under coach Raymond Domenech but could make his return to the national team this Friday when Laurent Blanc's side travel to Luxembourg for a Euro 2012 qualifier.

Reading from a statement at France's press conference, Ribery said: ''It's clear I had a horrible 2010 from all points of view. I won't even speak of the injuries that troubled me.

''But in my private life, my behaviour as a footballer, I went down the wrong roads, I lost myself. I hurt people, people who are very dear to me. I disappointed and even shocked many people and I want to apologise.''

Ribery also claimed he came in for some unwarranted criticism, saying: ''I was criticised, sometimes justifiably, sometimes wrongly, things were said and written about me, things that hurt me very badly, because they were excessive or downright false.''