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Germans make no secret of respect for Ribéry

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Germans make no secret of respect for Ribéry

Postby FCBayernNews » Tue Feb 28, 2012 7:30 pm

Bayern's convincing 2-0 victory over Schalke and the recovery of second spot in the Bundesliga made for a good dressing room mood at Bayern - and the atmosphere got even better when the talk turned to Wednesday's internationals. Germany host France, so Manuel Neuer, Jerome Boateng, Holger Badstuber, Thomas Müller, Toni Kroos and Mario Gomez will square up to Franck Ribéry.

Officially, it is only a warm-up for the summer EURO in Poland and Ukraine, but it is a prestige occasion with FCB men in action against each other, before they team up again for Saturday's trip to Leverkusen. "We've been winding each other up a bit," Ribéry revealed in the build-up to the clash in Bremen.

Joking along with the doc

The France winger chose Bayern and Germany chief medical officer Dr Hans-Wilhelm Müller-Wohlfahrt for one of his quips: "If I score, I'll run to you," he told the doc. That would hardly be unusual if the player was wearing Bayern colours, but would be a little strange in a France shirt. However, Bayern's Germany contingent are hoping Ribéry emptied his locker last weekend, and doesn't turn in another gala display until next Saturday.

"We all know Franck's a really good footballer," said keeper Neuer. Philipp Lahm, ruled out of the midweek clash with a swollen knee, emphasised the friendly nature of the rivalry: "Provided we win, I don't see any problem in Franck scoring against us. Maybe he'll take the momentum with him to Leverkusen."

Lahm and Schweinsteiger sidelined

The French, who fell at the first hurdle at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa but are now undefeated in 17 matches, have earned great respect from the Germany camp. "They have an unbelievably stable defence and outstanding attacking players, who are world-class," said national boss Joachim Löw. "Ribéry is the perfect player in one-on-one situations. He's been the key player for Bayern in recent years."

Almost 25 years have passed since Germany last beat the French. The home side are determined to end that miserable run on Wednesday evening, despite the absence with injury of Lahm, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Lukas Podolski and Per Mertesacker. Löw sought to play down expectations beforehand: "The match will neither put us on a high nor rob us of our confidence. It's only a friendly."

France in iconic shirts

For the first time in years, Germany will play in green shirts supplied by adidas as the nation's new away strip. The French are set to wear their typically Gallic change kit of white shirts with thin blue hoops, inspired by the iconic Breton stripe design. As for Ribéry, he will be desperately hoping his side avoid defeat, or he may be on the receiving end of many a gag when the players reconvene in Cologne on Thursday.
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