Franck Ribery 'set the standard' for foreign stars at Bayern - Uli Hoeness
Bayern Munich midfielder Franck Ribery has set the benchmark for foreign players after a decade at the club, according to president Uli Hoeness.
Ribery, 34, is Bayern's longest-serving player following Philipp Lahm's decision to retire, having arrived at the club in 2007 in a €25 million deal from Marseille.
He extended his contract last November to remain with the German champions until the summer of 2018, and Hoeness has praised the former France international.
"We've had many great foreign players here but Franck has set the standard with 10 years in Munich," Hoeness told kicker.
"When he arrived, he surely could not have imagined that he would celebrate this anniversary with us. I didn't think he would stay with us for such a long time. That was never Franck's plan, his agents said he'd be in Munich for two or three years."
He was named UEFA's Best Player in Europe in 2013, when he also won the Champions League. Seven Bundesliga titles, five DFB-Pokals, the FIFA Club World Cup and UEFA Super Cup complete the haul of trophies during a decade of service.
Amid interest from Manchester City, Juventus, Barcelona and Real Madrid, Ribery came closest to leaving the club in 2009 after enduring a difficult time under former boss Louis van Gaal.
Having rejected Chelsea's offer of €60 million plus Jose Bosingwa the previous season, Hoeness said Ribery was all set to join Real Madrid before Hoeness intervened over an evening meal with the winger and his wife Wahiba.
Hoeness added: "At first it looked as though he would move to Real, but at the end of the meal Ribery said: 'Nous reston -- we are staying in Munich.'"
Ribery added: "Ten years is amazing in this business. Who would have thought it? I'm very happy that it's turned out like this. I wouldn't have experienced what I have enjoyed here with the fans and the people at the club anywhere else in the world."
Mark Lovell covers Bayern Munich for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter: @LovellLowdown.