CLAIREFONTAINE - Franck Ribery,
back in the France squad for the first time since the player
mutiny at the World Cup in South Africa, said he lost his way in
2010 in what had been a "terrible year" for the winger.
Ribery was banned for three matches after France players
refused to train during last year's ill-fated World Cup campaign
when now-banished striker Nicolas Anelka was sent home for
insulting former coach Raymond Domenech.
"I have learnt a lot," Ribery, recalled to face Luxembourg
in a Euro 2012 qualifier and Croatia in a friendly, told a news
conference on Monday.
"I am glad to be here."
A few minutes before facing reporters, Ribery handed out a
statement stating he wanted to "stop talking about the past".
"I lost my way," the statement read. "I had a terrible
Ribery and fellow World Cup rebel Patrice Evra were recalled
by France coach Laurent Blanc against the wishes of the
country's sports minister Chantal Jouanno who reiterated her
wish that the pair remain excluded.
Ribery gave her views short shrift on Monday, snapping back:
"She can say what she wants, Blanc is the coach."
The Bayern Munich player was also asked about his
relationship with France team-mate Yoann Gourcuff.
French media reported last year that Ribery had bullied
Gourcuff during the dismal World Cup finals campaign in which
France exited at the first round stage.
"I have never had a problem with Gourcuff. I did not like
that I was being portrayed as the bad guy and him as the poor
one," he said.
"I would have liked him to print a denial."
Ribery still faces months of uncertainty after he was last
year placed under judicial investigation on suspicion of
soliciting sex with an under-age prostitute.
Ribery said he had not been fairly treated by French media.
"Some things that were written did hurt me. You hurt a lot
of people, especially my wife," he said.
France travel to Luxembourg on Friday for a Euro 2012
qualifier before hosting Croatia in a friendly next Tuesday.
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