Franck Ribery has played his last match for the French national team.
The 31-year-old attacking midfielder announced his retirement from international football Wednesday, according to Jonathan Johnson of ESPN FC:
Bayern Munich's Franck Ribery has announced his international retirement to Kicker.— Jonathan Johnson (@Jon_LeGossip) August 13, 2014
Ribery explained his thought process in the decision:
The Bayern Munich star has been competing with the senior team since the 2006 World Cup, where he started six of the squad's seven matches while helping France finish as a runner-up to Italy.
He continued to make a big impact at the international level for the next few years and was a major reason the French were a top contender heading into the 2010 tournament. Unfortunately, a disappointing run saw the squad finish in last place in its group.
Ribery was set to compete at the 2014 World Cup but a back injury kept him out. It is likely injuries such as this were a big reason he decided to end his international career and instead focus on club play, where he has won multiple league titles and a UEFA Champions League trophy.
Kris Voakes of Goal.com sees this moment as an opportunity for the younger class of French players to step up:
#Ribery retires from international football. Time for the new French generation in any case.— Kris Voakes (@krisvoakes) August 13, 2014
France reached the quarterfinals before losing a 1-0 match against Germany. Still, with young performers like Paul Pogba, Raphael Varane and others, the squad is set up well for plenty of success in the future.
With Euro 2016 set to take place in France, the group will certainly want to show up with the best squad possible.
Meanwhile, Ribery likely still has a long career with Bayern Munich as the German club continues to contend for trophies.
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