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Rewind to Boxing Day 1963

Barclays Premier League
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By ESPN Staff

Prankster Ribery wants more fun at Bayern

Bayern Munich winger Franck Ribery wants to bring the fun and games back to training after several months of rigorous, regimented work under Louis van Gaal.

The Frenchman has a reputation for being a joker in the dressing room and regularly performed jokes on his team-mates and even former coaches Ottmar Hitzfeld and Jurgen Klinsmann during his first two years with the club.

However, since Ribery does not believe Van Gaal would see the funny side to any prank, he has so far kept his head down and followed orders.

"Playing jokes on people is part of Franck Ribery, whoever I do it to," he told Sport Bild magazine. "If I am not having any fun, then I cannot play football either."

Ribery may be planning to lighten up his coach, although he admits that the more serious approach to training is also working.

"We are training well and hard," he added. "(Van Gaal) talks a lot with me and is getting to know me a lot better. I feel that we are on the right path."

Ribery could be fit to make his first start of the season for Bayern at Borussia Dortmund this weekend after recovering from a calf strain picked up while on international duty for France.

He was able to train fully on Tuesday and could appear for France in their crucial World Cup qualifier against Serbia tonight, giving him more match fitness to enable Van Gaal to pick him with Arjen Robben in his first-choice team on Saturday.

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