France winger Franck Ribéry announced his international retirement at the age of 31 on Wednesday after 81 caps and 16 goals in an eight-year career. UEFA.com picks out his five key moments in a Bleus shirt.
27 May 2006: France 1-0 Mexico, Saint-Denis, friendly
A surprise call-up by Raymond Domenech for France's FIFA World Cup squad after a superb first season with Olympique de Marseille, a 23-year-old Ribéry replaced David Trezeguet on 73 minutes at the Stade de France. Ribéry's mazy runs delighted the crowd and justified his selection.
27 June 2006: Spain 1-3 France, Hanover, FIFA World Cup round of 16
A starter with Les Bleus, Ribéry scored his first national-team goal in dramatic circumstances as France trailed the Spain side that would dominate football in the coming years. Just before half-time he collected Patrick Vieira's through ball and beat Iker Casillas, launching a crazy celebration that involved the whole bench and kick-started France's road to the final, along which Ribéry was ever-present. "Incredible feelings," he would say.
27 May 2012: France 3-2 Iceland, Valenciennes, friendly
In France's first warm-up game prior to UEFA EURO 2012, Ribéry was at home in his native Valenciennes. In front of family and fans, his delicate 84th-minute chip over the visiting goalkeeper brought Les Blues back to 2-2, his first international goal since 2009 ensuring there would be no embarrassing defeat.
10 September 2013: Belarus 2-4 France, Gomel, FIFA World Cup qualifier
After several years in which he was unable to reproduce his stellar FC Bayern München form on the national-team stage, Ribéry struck two equalisers to inspire a key victory en route to Brazil. "I revel in this team, I'm sure we can go far in Brazil," he said.
19 November 2013: France 3-0 Ukraine, Saint-Denis, FIFA World Cup play-off second leg
In his last competitive match with France, Ribéry – now considered an absolute star in Germany and the reigning UEFA Best Player in Europe – partially erased the mixed memories of UEFA EURO 2012 and especially the 2010 World Cup by helping France turn around a tie they trailed 2-0 at kick-off.
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