Ribery looking forward to Ancelotti arrival

Franck Ribery (AFP)
Franck Ribery (AFP)

Berlin - Bayern Munich winger Franck Ribery on Wednesday welcomed the appointment of Carlo Ancelotti as the successor to Pep Guardiola as coach of the Bundesliga giants next season.

"I think Ancelotti is great as a coach and as a person," Ribery, who has missed the best part of the last year through injury, said in an interview with German weekly Sport Bild magazine.

"We've already met without talking too much," he added. "But I've heard often that he has a good relation with his players. It's exactly the type of coach who suits me."

Ribery was in 2009 the subject of a bid from Chelsea, then coached by Ancelotti, with the former France international admitting he was flattered by the interest.

"That shows he rates me as a player, it's great," said Ribery, who was voted UEFA European Player of the Year in 2013.

The Frenchman said his recurring injury problems had made things difficult under Guardiola, but stressed there was no trouble between them.

"It's normal that we've been in touch less," he said. "It's something completely different, you're on the pitch and in the changing room with the coach every day or you're not there. Pep has also been sad. There's no problem between us."

Ribery is working his way back from a thigh injury he picked up following his return to action last month, having only just come back from nine months out with an ankle problem.

"My thigh is fine. I can run again without pain. I'm not at 100 per cent but everything will return to normal as and when," he said.

Ribery, who turns 33 in April, said he was hoping to return to training "in two weeks" and therefore take part in the second half of the Bundesliga season, which resumes following the winter break on January 22.

"I have a lot of fight and energy. I'm convinced I'm going to be able to rediscover the old Ribery," added the Frenchman, referring to form that saw him help Bayern land the Champions League, Bundesliga and German Cup treble in 2013, as well as finish third in that year's Ballon d'Or voting.

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