Ribery’s injury prevents joining start to Bundesliga season

Bayern Munich's French star Franck Ribery is injured and will more than likely miss his team's start in the new Bundesliga season, the home fixture on August 8 at the Allianz Arena against Hoffenheim.

Ribery's injury prevents joining start to Bundesliga season
Photo: DPA

The man fans once hailed as “Kaiser Franck” is looking far from imperial and the additional recuperation period for the tendonitis in a knee may give the 26-year-old midfielder time to carry out some public relations to polish up his image.

The France international’s commitment to the mighty south German club has been tarnished after a summer-long sequence of speculation about a move to Real Madrid, Barcelona or even Manchester United.

In the end the big-spending Spanish club went away frustrated, saying the asking fee set by Bayern was over the top.

Outspoken Bayern Munich president Franz Beckenbauer blasted Ribery for being more interested in his own career than the club and suggested that the player could still be sold – for €94 million.

“Of course we would expect the market price, and if Cristiano Ronaldo is worth €94 million, then Ribery is worth a comparable sum. But if no offer is forthcoming he must fulfil the terms of his contract until 2011,” he told Sport Bild newspaper.

Commentators were not entirely convinced by a statement from Bayern management which said: “Bayern have at no time had and do not have the impression from Franck Ribery that he would only use Bayern in order to further his own career. He has always given himself and his abilities to the service of the team.”

As another season in Germany looms, Ribery’s attitude continues to make headlines. When the team assembled for the official pre-season photo session, observers noted the Frenchman was unsmiling and distant.

He may have been wishing he was at a different stadium – namely the Bernabeu in Madrid, hob-nobbing with Ronaldo, Kaka and Karim Benzema as Real Madrid chairman Florentino Perez proudly showed off his multi-million euro signings in the Spanish sun.

New Bayern manager Louis van Gaal isn’t sure whether he will risk including him in the squad for the first game of the season.

“I know that he definitely won’t be starting, and I can’t even say whether he will be in the squad for the game,” said van Gaal on Wednesday.

The ex-Marseille player was ruled out of the team for the pre-season Audi Cup tournament involving Manchester United, AC Milan and Boca Juniors.

The player currently tagged “the Bavarian Diva” by German media missed all the side’s preparation matches since training resumed at Bayern Munich’s Black Forest camp in July.

Despite his lack of match fitness he was picked in the France World Cup squad for next week’s match with the Faroe Isles by Raymond Domenech.

Domenech, ever one to upset club managers by picking unfit players, conceded that Ribery would play if anything just a cameo role before being called upon for more serious challenges against Romania and Serbia in September.

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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.