Bayern Munich coach slams Ribery’s lazy recovery

Bayern Munich coach Louis van Gaal on Friday criticised Franck Ribery for his lack of commitment in a friendly game organised to help him regain full fitness.

Bayern Munich coach slams Ribery's lazy recovery
Photo: DPA

Bayern beat third division Unterhacing 2-1 on Wednesday, with senior squad members Ribery, Diego Contento and Brazilian defender Breno all taking part as they continue their recoveries from injury.

Van Gaal, though, expressed particular disappointment with the performance of French international Ribery, who has been out for eight weeks with an injury to his right ankle.

“He didn’t make any effort and showed no commitment,” said van Gaal, who is likely to name Ribery on the bench for Saturday’s game with Bayer Leverkusen.

“It’s a shame. I don’t organise friendly matches for my own good. None of them really did anything, but the prize goes to Ribery.”

Van Gaal, who also clashed with Ribery last season over the Frenchman’s readiness to return from injury, said the 27-year-old was not in the right physical shape to make a successful comeback.

“His preparations haven’t been good,” added the Dutchman.

Ribery made his return from injury with a 20-minute substitute appearance in Bayern’s 3-0 win at home to Nuremberg last Sunday.

In an interview with Munich daily tz, Ribery admitted that his relationship with van Gaal was sometimes challenging.

“He has a very strong personality and it’s something that I respect,” said Ribery. “I listen to him and I know I can get better.”

Ribery also said that Bayern could still retain their German title, despite currently being 12 points behind leaders Borussia Dortmund, and his coach was in agreement.

“It’s very good that he says that everything is still possible,” said van Gaal.

Ribery has had a tough year, having been charged with soliciting an under-age prostitute and banned for three games by the French Football Federation over his role in France’s World Cup training boycott.


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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.