Franck Ribery was given a spectacular presentation at the Stadio Artemio Franchi. “I knew three weeks ago I’d be coming to Fiorentina.”
The Frenchman signed a two-year contract and was presented to 10,000 fans at the Stadio Franchi in true Hollywood style.
He walked out in darkness to the Rocky theme Eye of the Tiger, did the boxer’s pose at the top of the steps, then under a plume of purple smoke did keepy-uppies before kicking seven balls into the crowd.
“I am very happy to be here,” said Ribery in the arena. “I speak some Italian because I like the language and above all Fiorentina!
“I knew three weeks ago that I’d be coming here. Luca Toni is like a brother, he told me to come here because it’s a beautiful city.”
Ribery also confessed it’s true that he got Bayern Munich teammate Arturo Vidal to call fellow Chilean Erick Pulgar, asking him to release the Number 7 jersey.
“I did call Vidal and I thank him for that. I don’t know where I’ll be living yet, but it has to be quite big, as I have five children!”
Viola director Daniele Pradè added that the family was crucial in this transfer deal.
“I thank Franck’s wife, because at the end of the day, she made the decision. If great players come to Fiorentina, it’s for Florence and these magnificent fans.”
President Rocco Commisso’s right-hand man Joe Barone also spoke to the crowd about the surprise move.
“Rocco calls 10 times a day and wanted to know all the details on Franck. I am happy that he is our player! I won’t promise anything, but we are working to get into Europe.”