28th February, 2012
Bayern Munich star Franck Ribery has expressed his relief at putting behind himself, what he described as the ‘darkest’ period of his life in 2010.
The 28-year-old and other members of the France national team were embroiled in a sex scandal with under-age prostitute Zahia Dehar, but escaped heavy sentences after a prolonged trial.
Ribery, who was suspended from international duty for three matches after Les Bleus’ chaotic World Cup 2010 in South Africa, has also overcome a long string of successive injuries, and he has admitted that he is enjoying life again.
“I will not lie to you: it (2010) was horrible,” he told Le Parisien. “Really. I lived the darkest period of my life.
“But it is behind me and I do not want to talk about it anymore. I have turned the page.I am a happy man again.”
The former Olympique de Marseille ace then admitted that he is working hard to regain trust from France’s fans after he was at the heart of the rebellious World Cup 2010 squad.
“The whistles are always hard to understand,” Ribery explained. “What I did at the World Cup was wrong and the fans can blame me for that.
“That failure crushed me, and the fans must know this. I love playing for France and I feel pride every time I am called up for the team.Before this, I was the fans’ blue-eyed boy. Then, I was rejected.
“But my story with Les Bleus is far from over. Together with the fans, we will have good moments to share.”
However, Ribery, who scored a double in Sunday’s 2-0 victory against Schalke, admitted that he is more comfortable playing for his club side Bayern Munich than for his country.
“At Bayern, I have rediscovered the pleasure of playing,” Ribery added. “Here, my body is completely free.
“With Les Bleus, everything I do is a bit more strained. I played better against Belgium in November, I was more calm.”