That little ball of energy bounding around everywhere with the ball stuck to his leg, creating moments of panic in the opposing defences.That is Franck Ribery.
I am not sure if France would have gone this far without having Ribery on the team. Zizou, Vieira, Thuram, Makelele, Henry have all played their part in the success of Les Bleus but Ribery being the unknown quantity that he is, has been the successful X factor. A view echoed by Lilian Thuram.
"Franck is every defender's worst nightmare, always looking to hit them where it hurts and not giving them a moment's peace," teammate and defender Lilian Thuram said. "When teams are as well drilled as they are here in Germany, having a player like Franck in your side can make all the difference. There's no limit to what he can achieve in the game."
His playmaking abilites have caught the eye of no less a legend Pele
The WaPo has a profile on Ribery which makes for interesting reading. His facial scars are due to an automobile accident when he was two years going through the windshield. Ribery has been something of a rolling stone having already played with five clubs before settling down at Marseille.
Franck Ribery is Muslim and along with Zidane is a source of great pride in the Muslim and Arab community in France. Ribery recently got married and his wife Wahiba is of Moroccan descent.
The 23-year-old Ribery has stolen the limelight during France's opener in the World Cup against Switzerland when he was caught while raising his hands and supplicating to God as any other Muslims do.
"French Muslims feel that Ribery's supplication notice is a sign of dignity and honor for the French suburbanites, most of whom are of Muslim origin," Breze added.
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