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Ribery to play his last World Cup

Friday, May 23, 2014

PARISP - France star Franck Ribery says the 2014 World Cup finals will be his last but the Bayern Munich forward has left the door open to compete at Euro 2016.

Ribery, 31, who burst on to the international scene at the 2006 World Cup in Germany, told broadcaster RTL on Wednesday: "This will be my final World Cup".

Assessing his chances of leaving the World Cup stage on a high in Brazil, the European Footballer of the Year said: "We have to go there to achieve something, to try to win the World Cup, quite simply".

French football chief Noel Le Graet said Ribery was jumping the gun announcing his World Cup retirement.

"The next World Cup is in four years. Ribery is someone who can last a long time.

"Sporting figures can work for ages so this decision is a little hasty.

"In any event I hope he will be in good form in Brazil."

In 2006 Ribery helped steer France to the final where they lost in a penalty shoot-out against Italy.

His 2010 World Cup experience proved vastly different, with France knocked out in the first round and Ribery involved in an infamous players' strike at a training session.

He has turned out 81 times for his country.

Ribery will join 17 of France's World Cup squad at Les Bleus' training headquarters at Clairefontaine outside Paris later Wednesday.

He travels to Brazil having won the German league and cup double with Bayern, and in January having been cleared of charges of sex with an under-age prostitute.

France open against Honduras on June 15, before tackling Switzerland on June 20 and Ecuador five days later.

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