News : Franck Ribéry at Fiorentina: The new hope


News :

Franck Ribéry at Fiorentina: The new hope


Florence on Wednesday, Amerigo Vespucci airport, it is 11.05 clock, the sun is shining, the door of the charter jet just landed opens, a man steps out. In his raspelkurzen hair, on the left temple, a large "7" is shaved. A few hundred people have expected him, they cheer. The man is beaming and waving, he is wearing a purple jersey, over it a purple scarf.

On the evening of the following day he presents himself in the same shirt in the football stadium Franchi, lightshow, loud music. About 15,000 people cheer him like a savior. It is meant to start a new era, a new dream for the people of Florence. For those who are wholeheartedly attached to their football club, the Associazione Calcio Firenze Fiorentina, in short: ACF Fiorentina, called in Germany AC Florence.

The acclaimed man is Franck Ribéry, is 36 years in senior football age, and therefore had no future at Bayern. But in Florence they already worship him. You know what he has achieved in Munich: Nine times the Frenchman has become German champion with Bayern, was a crowd pleaser, 2013, he won the Champions League. Ribéry was one of the best players of his time.

Ribéry celebrates his new fans in Florence

REUTERS / Jennifer Lorenzini

Ribéry celebrates his new fans in Florence

Then followed in the summer of change at Bayern, Ribéry had to go, and because the former Fiorentina striker and former Bayern buddies Luca Toni (2007-2010 in Munich under contract) recommended Florence, Ribéry now plays in the Serie A. "The club is great and the city is beautiful," Luca had told him, Ribéry said, and his family also thought it was okay. That's the way it is now - and should make for great football moments.

With him the club wants to attack again front. He wanted to help bring the Fiorentina "among the top five, maybe - why not - among the top three teams," Ribéry promised. It will not be easy, at the end of last season, the club was in 16th place, just three points separated from relegated Empoli.

Now the fans call Ribéry: "Take us to Europe!" The new owner of the football club of the Tuscan capital, Rocco Commisso, expects something like this. Italian-American, billionaire (his fortune is estimated at $ 4.7 billion), founder and head of the fifth largest US cable company Mediacom.

He bought the club from the Italian Todd's-shoes-owner Diego Della Valle, also billionaire (admittedly valued at just over one billion euros), who had the faxes thick. For 17 years, he and his family have invested millions of euros in the club - but the success remained. Recently, the fans had insulted him because there was too little money for new top players.

First game against Napoli: Ribéry with his former coach Carlo Ancelotti

Jennifer Lorenzini / DPA

First game against Napoli: Ribéry with his former coach Carlo Ancelotti

The Florentine dream

Successor Commisso has gone straight into the full: a new stadium will be built or at least the old expanded, he has promised, and many new players will make the Fiorentina again a top club, so the announcement. And the most important player will be Ribery. "No one is like Ribéry," said the new boss in Florence, "possibly Cristiano Ronaldo". The salary for Ribéry is no problem. "We just got it out of the cash register." Ribéry is to earn eight million euros net in two years, plus premiums.

In addition, the former Bayern star gets the back number 7, as in Munich, the previously committed Chilean international Erick Pulgar had to give his back number again and now carries the 78th

In the future, Kevin Prince Boateng, 32, who has moved from his brief involvement with FC Barcelona to Tuscany, will be helping Ribery's side. If the two elders with their class can build up the young talents of Fiorentina, so the sports paper "La Gazetta", then could be formed in Florence again a strong team.

When Milenkovic scored Ribéry cheers with the team

Andreas SOLARO / AFP

When Milenkovic scored Ribéry cheers with the team

The start was promising at least. On Saturday night, the team from Naples came with Ribery's former coach Carlo Ancelotti for the first game of the new season in Tuscany - after all, the runner-up of the previous season. Ribéry initially fired the new teammates from the bank. Three goals were scored by the Florentines, who have not won a game since February. Boateng, Nikola Milenkovi and Pulgar (the one with the jersey number 78) by penalty were the scorers.

Although he is still far from being fit and decrepit - as he himself said - he too finally came, the new hope: Frank Ribéry. Substituted in the 78th minute, he brought once again tremendous momentum, especially in the Fankurve. On the pitch Ribéry was only in the final minutes when he was pressed down the penalty area - but the referee continued to play, even the video referee did not intervene. It could have been dangerous again, but that's how it stayed at 3: 4. The Fiorentina has played strong, fought powerful - but lost again.


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