Bayern’s Ribery fuels speculation on switch to Barcelona

Bayern Munich star Franck Ribery on Thursday fuelled further speculation over a switch to Barcelona after saying he understands why compatriot Thierry Henry plies his trade for the Spanish giants.

Bayern's Ribery fuels speculation on switch to Barcelona
Photo: DPA

France midfielder Ribery and the rest of the Bayern team were schooled by Barcelona at the Nou Camp on April 8 when the German champions were humbled 4-0 in the Champions League quarter-final first-leg tie. Henry was one of the Barcelona stars who shone brightly, and when asked whether he wants to play for the Spanish giants, Ribery told the Munich Tageszeitung: “Of course, who wouldn’t want to play for Barca?”

This is not the first time this season Ribery has spoken with enthusiam about the Spanish giants.

He briefly wore a Barcelona shirt on Tuesday night after exchanging with an opponent following the 1-1 draw against the Spanish at Munich’s Allianz Arena in the second leg.

But the Frenchman, who is under contract at Bayern until June 2011, added: “I only said that I understand now why he (Henry) has so much fun and has such a long contract there – nothing more, nothing less.”

Ribery is set to lead the French attack at next year’s World Cup in South Africa and has been courted by several top European sides this season after helping Bayern win the Bundesliga and German Cup last season. But Barcelona president Joan Laporta has said he is reluctant to pursue either Ribery or Germany defender Philipp Lahm in order to preserve the close links between Barcelona and Bayern.

Meanwhile, Ribery has defended embattled Bayern coach Jürgen Klinsmann who was booed by his own fans on Tuesday before the Champions League second-leg draw with Barcelona.

“Klinsmann is going through a difficult phase at the moment,” admitted Ribery. “The whole attack must rally around him, as well as the squad and every single player.”

And Ribery said Bayern must expand their squad if they are going to compete for top European honours.

“We need a bigger squad, if we have one or two injured players, then we immediately have a problem,” he said. “As long as that continues we will struggle when we meet the top sides.”

Bayern are second in the Bundesliga and face Bielefeld on Saturday.

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Four injured as WWII bomb explodes near Munich train station

Four people were injured, one of them seriously, when a World War II bomb exploded at a building site near Munich's main train station on Wednesday, emergency services said.

Smoke rises after the WWII bomb exploded on a building site in Munich.
Smoke rises after the WWII bomb exploded on a building site in Munich. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Privat

Construction workers had been drilling into the ground when the bomb exploded, a spokesman for the fire department said in a statement.

The blast was heard several kilometres away and scattered debris hundreds of metres, according to local media reports.

Images showed a plume of smoke rising directly next to the train tracks.

Bavaria interior minister Joachim Herrmann told Bild that the whole area was being searched.

Deutsche Bahn suspended its services on the affected lines in the afternoon.

Although trains started up again from 3pm, the rail operator said there would still be delays and cancellations to long-distance and local travel in the Munich area until evening. 

According to the fire service, the explosion happened near a bridge that must be passed by all trains travelling to or from the station.

The exact cause of the explosion is unclear, police said. So far, there are no indications of a criminal act.

WWII bombs are common in Germany

Some 75 years after the war, Germany remains littered with unexploded ordnance, often uncovered during construction work.

READ ALSO: What you need to know about WWII bomb disposals in Germany

However, most bombs are defused by experts before they explode.

Last year, seven World War II bombs were found on the future location of Tesla’s first European factory, just outside Berlin.

Sizeable bombs were also defused in Cologne and Dortmund last year.

In 2017, the discovery of a 1.4-tonne bomb in Frankfurt prompted the evacuation of 65,000 people — the largest such operation since the end of the war in Europe in 1945.