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Fresh start for 'Kaiser Franck'

China Daily | Updated: 2019-08-23 09:50
Franck Ribery waves to fans upon his arrival in Florence, Italy on Wednesday. Italian media reported the 36-year-old former France international has signed a two-year deal with Fiorentina worth $8.8 million. [Photo/IC]

Former Bayern favorite Ribery 'ready for a new challenge' with Serie A Fiorentina

ROME - French winger Franck Ribery said he was relishing one last challenge as the former Bayern Munich legend rubber-stamped a two-year deal on Wednesday to play for Serie A club Fiorentina.

The former France international left Bayern Munich as a free agent in May after 12 seasons during which he earned the nickname 'Kaiser Franck' as the most titled Bundesliga player ever with nine titles among his 23 club trophies.

In the twilight of his career, the 36-year-old wants to continue playing elite soccer. He agreed a twoyear deal worth $4.4 million a year plus bonuses with the Tuscan team.

"Franck Ribery is ours! Welcome legend!" the US-owned club confirmed with photos of Ribery wearing their purple colors and holding a Fiorentina scarf.

After saying he was "ready for a new challenge" on Instagram, both Ribery and his wife Wahiba posted photos on social media on Wednesday morning showing them on board a private jet.

Ribery was greeted at the airport by Giancarlo Antognoni, a 1982 World Cup winner and Fiorentina legend, who is part of the club's management.

Addressing hundreds of fans, the French player said that former Bayern teammate Luca Toni, who also played for Fiorentina, had convinced him to move to Italy.

"I'm happy, I'm here with my family," said Ribery.

"I talked for a week with Fiorentina. I also spoke with Luca Toni. He told me that Fiorentina is a great club and the city is beautiful.

"I also like the Italian language and I speak it a bit even though I have to improve."

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