Franck Ribery recently tried to retire from the French national team. Tried.
He’s 31-years-old and told everyone he was retiring from international play, citing the desire for more time with his family and persistent injuries as the reason. (He did miss the 2014 World Cup through injury.) Except it doesn’t sound like they’re going to let him.
Here’s what current UEFA president and former French international Michel Platini said: “If [Didier] Deschamps calls him up, then he has to come to the national team. That’s written in the FIFA statutes. If he doesn’t report for duty, then he would be banned for three matches for Bayern Munich. It is not the player’s decision whether he represents his country, it’s the decision of the couch. Ribery cannot simply decide for himself whether he wants to play for France or not.”
Some historical background: In 2006, France called up then-33-year-old Claude Makelele and threatened him with a club ban if he didn’t join. Makelele eventually came back. it’s this weird situation where technically if you refuse a call-up, you get banned from your club. it’s just never enforced ,and retirement decisions in particular are honored.
Platini had one more funny quote. He said there’s no way Ribery wouldn’t want to be involved, since Euro 2016 is in France, not Poland. Poor Poland.
Clearly the only solution here is for Deschamps to call up both Ribery and Platini. We hear Platini used to be pretty good.