World Cup chit-chat: Brazil World Cup will be my last, says Ribery
France winger Franck Ribery will play in his last World Cup in Brazil, the Bayern Munich player said on Wednesday.
The 31-year-old, who also featured in the 2006 and 2010 tournaments, wants to sign off in style by winning the trophy.
"First off it will be my last World Cup,” he told French radio station RTL. “Then we have to go (to Brazil) to do something, to try to win the World Cup, quite simply.”
Ribery, who has scored 16 goals in 80 games for France, has not announced his international retirement, however, and will hope to figure in the plans for Euro 2016 which France hosts.
Image: Franck Ribery
Photographs: David Rogers/Getty Images
Ribery broke into the France team just before the 2006 World Cup
Ribery broke into the France team just before the 2006 World Cup in Germany and scored his first international goal in a 3-1 second-round win over Spain. He played in every match including the final which France lost on penalties to Italy.
He featured again at Euro 2008 but suffered an injury early in France's final group match as they finished bottom.
The 2010 World Cup in South Africa also ended in failure with Raymond Domenech's squad torn apart by internal squabbling as they managed only one point and one goal in the group stage.
Following an argument between Domenech and Nicolas Anelka that led to the striker being sent home the squad refused to train and Ribery was later suspended along with Anelka, captain Patrice Evra and Jeremy Toulalan for their part in the revolt.
He returned to the side for Euro 2012 qualifying but endured disappointment again at the finals in Poland and Ukraine as France lost 2-0 to eventual winners Spain in the quarter-finals.
Image: Franck Ribery
Photographs: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images
'I need to change 'chip' and think of Argentina'
Lionel Messi wants to change the Barcelona "chip" in his head to an Argentina one to do well at the World Cup, the national captain said on Tuesday.
Messi told reporters on arrival in Buenos Aires that he would try to put a disappointing season in Spain behind him with Barcelona failing to win a major trophy for the first time in six years.
"Now I must think of the national team and change my chip," Messi, who signed a new contract with Barcelona on Monday, said.
"Many times it was the reverse, I'd go to Barcelona and play well, let's hope it's the other way round. When I join my friends at the (Argentine FA training) complex it'll be another story."
Before Messi won over Argentina fans with his performances in the World Cup qualifiers, he was criticised in his home country for not replicating his Barcelona form in the light blue and white striped national shirt.
Image: Lionel Messi
Photographs: Jamie McDonald/Getty Images
Not the best of season
Messi headed from Ezeiza international airport on the outskirts of the capital to his home town of Rosario for a break before beginning training next week under coach Alejandro Sabella for the tournament in Brazil starting on June 12.
"This wasn't my best season, I'd have liked to finish it differently but it was the whole (Barcelona) group, not only at an individual level, rather a slump of the whole team," said Messi, surrounded by reporters with microphones and cameras and autograph-hunting fans in the arrivals sector at Ezeiza.
Coach Gerardo Martino, also from Rosario, resigned after Barcelona lost their last chance to win La Liga when they were held 1-1 by a title-clinching Atletico Madrid at the Nou Camp on Saturday.
"I hope that when I get together with my (Argentina) team mates my head will change because it was a complicated season. We had the chance to win the (Liga) tournament and we couldn't. I went through a lot of things at a personal level, it wasn't easy with the injuries."
Messi, who suffered hamstring problems, suffered a drop in form from the high standards he set in previous seasons, but he hopes to be back to his clinical best to lead Argentina to a third world title in Brazil.
"Let's hope we can reach our objective," added Messi whose team play in Group F against Bosnia in Rio de Janeiro on June 15, Iran in Belo Horizonte on June 21 and Nigeria in Porto Alegre on June 25.
Image: Lionel Messi
Photographs: Alex Livesey/Getty Images