Star midfielder Franck Ribery is reportedly just days away from being omitted from France’s 2014 FIFA World Cup campaign in Brazil after suffering ongoing effects from a back issue that has plagued his most recent club season for Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich.
A mainstay and pivotal member of the French team for the last decade, Ribery missed his nation’s comfortable 4-0 hit-out over Norway last week and played just 18 matches at club level this season as club and national doctors scramble to diagnose the issue ahead of Les Bleus’ Soccer World Cup opener against Honduras on June 15th.
Charged with the un-enviable task of leaving arguably France’s most experienced and talented central option off the final 23 man list if deemed a liability, Coach Didier Deschamps said back complaints are always a difficult injury to deal with from a selection point of view.
“Backache, it means everything and nothing” Deschamps told the Daily Mail.
“I do not go into the medical field, but we will do everything to get him back in the best conditions.”
A standout performer in France’s successful 1998 Soccer World Cup campaign, Bixente Lizarazu told reporters the French footballing fold as a whole is worried by the prospect of leaving Ribery at home.
“We’re worried about Franck Ribery because we don’t know what he has” Lizarazu said.
Lyon’s Maxime Gonalons, Montpellier’s Remy Cabella and Southampton’s Morgan Schneiderlin have all been placed on standby to cover Ribery if deemed too unfit to contest the 2014 Soccer World Cup.
Also drawn alongside Ecuador and fellow European outfit Switzerland in Group E at the 2014 FIFA World Cup, France will contest a final friendly with Paraguay before jetting to Brazil this week.
Clear favourites to take out Group E at a quote of $1.72, France is currently tied on the sixth line of betting to lift the 2014 FIFA World Cup trophy on July 13th at generous $23 odds alongside Italy, The Netherlands and Uruguay at Ladbrokes.com.au.
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