NEWS
Friday November 22 2019
Ribery: 'I see Chiesa out wide'

Federico Chiesa has been Franck Ribery’s Fiorentina strike partner this season, but the veteran admits he sees the Italian “more as a winger”.

Ribery has just served a three-match ban for pushing an official during Fiorentina’s 2-1 defeat to Lazio last month, and he admits "the tension prevailed my experience" in another apology.

“I should’ve avoided that reaction. I apologised but it wasn’t enough,” he told Corriere dello Sport.

“I’ll be forever sad about it. The instinct, the tension from the game prevailed my experience… it was very bad.”

The 36-year-old was expected to wind down his career after he left Bayern Munich at the end of last season, but he instead has been taken aback by the “enthusiasm” in Tuscany.

“[Owner Rocco] Commisso, [general manager Joe] Barone and [sporting director Daniele] Prade have so much enthusiasm. The fans really trust them.

“The sporting director is a unique person and I feel very well working under [coach Vincenzo] Montella.”

Despite being wingers by trade, Ribery and Chiesa have found themselves leading the Viola’s attack this season.

However, the Frenchman revealed: “I see Federico more as a wide midfielder who attacks.

“He has a great gift, he must think about playing, working, growing. He is a fairly closeted person, but he knows how to listen.

The Champions League winner enjoyed global stardom at Bayern, but he insists he has never forgotten his roots.

“I’ve never forgotten where I came from, the multicultural Boulogne-sur-Mer, where I grew up. I met my wife Wahiba there and embraced Islam.”

Ribery is free to return for Fiorentina against Hellas Verona this weekend, but his availability is still uncertain because of an illness.

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