Franck Ribery could be forced to make France return, claims FFF president
Franck Ribery could be forcibly brought out of international retirement if he shines again at Bayern Munich, the French Football Federation president has told Le Parisien.
Ribery, 31, has yet to feature for last season's runaway Bundesliga champions in the current campaign due to a knee injury, which follows the back problem that scuppered his chances of representing his country at the World Cup.
Last month, Ribery told German media he would no longer represent his country, citing his desire to spend more time with his family and his reluctance to continue attempting to restore his tarnished reputation in his native country as the main reasons for his decision.
France coach Didier Deschamps recently stated he respected Ribery's decision, but did not rule out potentially calling up the former Galatasaray and Marseille man against his wishes.
He resisted the temptation to do that for Thursday's friendly with Spain and next week's trip to Serbia, but that possibility has now also been voiced by FFF boss Noel Le Graet, who insisted Ribery did not have the right to choose not to answer a call from Les Bleus.
"It's not up to him. If Ribery, in a few months, is in great form with his club and he's indispensable to French football, he'll be called up. There's no reason that a boy like him doesn't go out with a bang. On the proviso that he gets back to his best form.
"The problem is that he's not been right physically for some time. I hope with all my heart that he'll get those feelings back. He's still young and should be able to play at Euro 2016."
The announcement of Ribery's retirement was followed by similar announcements from Eric Abidal and Samir Nasri. While Abidal's age makes his step understandable, Nasri remains a force in the Premier League with Manchester City. Le Graet, however, stated Ribery and Nasri were not in the same situation.
"Deschamps has always wanted Ribery to play. Nasri is no longer in the eye of the national team coach...And I don't think that's about to change. That doesn't mean that he's a bad boy."
After enduring a difficult relationship with Laurent Blanc during the current Paris Saint-Germain coach's tenure of the national team between 2010 and 2012, Le Graet has repeatedly stated his satisfaction at working with Deschamps.
After seeing his contract extended to 2016 as a consequence of steering his country to the World Cup, Deschamps could now even see his deal prolonged ahead of the next European Championship, which will be staged in France.
"I would like that," Le Graet said. "That's certainly something that could be proposed to him by the Federation's Executive Committee."