Paris, France (4E Sports) – France boss Didier Deschamps announced that star Franck Ribery will not be playing in the World Cup after aggravating his back injury in training.
“Franck had been feeling better,” Deschamps said. “The increase in intensity worsened the situation. This is a sad day, but we need to recover and prepare for the final friendly.”
The Bayern Munich star had been expected to play a part in Brazil despite his fitness troubles but he had exacerbated the problem during Friday’s training session.
“It’s with death in the soul that I am forced to leave the French national team and pull out of the World Cup,” Ribery told the French Football Federation (FFF) website. “I had always hoped, after noting encouraging signs in recent days, to be ready for France – Jamaica.”
“But the extensive tests I underwent on Friday morning reawakened my back pain. The MRI scan I underwent at Rambouillet hospital only confirmed the initial impressions and the increase in pain, and therefore my inability to train and play normally,” he added.
The FFF also confirmed on its official website that Lyon midfielder Clement Grenier would also miss out on the tournament after an adductor tear was diagnosed following Thursday’s training session.
The pair will be replaced in the 23-man squad by Morgan Schneiderlin and Remy Cabella.
Deschamps said he had already had thoughts on who may fill in for Ribery after testing out different options during the recent friendlies with Norway and Paraguay.
“We know what Franck is capable of [but] I have other players who played in the two friendly matches,” he said. “I was prepared for this. There are other possibilities. This is not fixed, with the profiles of the different players.”
Deschamps admitted Les Bleus’ chances of success in Brazil would be hindered by the loss of Ribery, who finished third in the voting for the 2013 Ballon d’Or.
France faces Honduras, Switzerland and Ecuador in Group E this summer.