France have announced that Bayern Munich attacker Franck Ribery will not feature at this year’s World Cup in Brazil. The 31-year-old winger has been toiling with a back problem in recent weeks, and Didier Deschamps, the head coach of Les Bleus, confirmed during a press conference on Friday afternoon that the Ballon d’Or nominee’s situation has worsened. “This morning Ribery stopped during a run. Now, he cannot train,” Deschamps explained. “Tests have confirmed a worsening of the situation. He cannot play.”
Ribery’s injury was the second blow that France would suffer on Friday, as Clement Grenier aggravated a thigh problem, which had plagued him in the latter part of the season, leading to the Olympique Lyonnais playmaker also withdrawing from the squad. Deschamps revealed that he has already called up two replacements in the form of Southampton’s uncapped midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin and Montpellier’s Remy Cabella, who was preferred to Manchester City’s Samir Nasri.
The loss of Ribery, however, will be seen as a significant blow to France’s hopes of World Cup success, as the 2006 runner-up was their most experienced player available with 81 appearances. Antoine Griezmann of Real Sociedad is widely expected to take his place in Deschamps’ starting line-up.