France international Ribery ponders German citizenship

AFP , Thursday 26 Feb 2015

Bayern Munich
Bayern Munich's Franck Ribery (R) celebrates a goal with his team mate Thomas Mueller during their Bundesliga first division soccer match against Paderborn in Paderborn February 21, 2015 (Photo: Reuters)

Bayern Munich's French winger Franck Ribery has revealed he is considering taking German citizenship in an interview with daily newspaper Bild on Thursday.

The ex-France international has played for Bayern since 2007 and when asked whether he wanted to apply for German citizenship, he replied: "Why not? I can imagine staying in Munich after the end of my career.

"I have bought a very nice house, I feel good here and I like the mentality.

"My children are doing well at school, they have German friends.

"My son Saif was born here, he may even one day play for Germany."

Ribery, who turns 32 in April, says his decision whether or not to apply for German citizenship will be because of his family and "the future".

"My eldest daughter Hiziya always makes fun of my German, and I laugh with her," said Ribery, who was voted German player of the year in 2008.

"I did not learn the language in school, but in my daily life, from other people."

Ribery is one of the few foreign players comfortable with being interviewed in German live on air after Bundesliga matches and has a reputation for being the joker in the Bayern squad.

In Germany, a citizen from another European Union country can apply for German citizenship after eight years of residency, by proving you can speak the language and passing a naturalisation test, while retaining their original nationality.

Ribery won the Champions League title with Bayern in 2013 and has won both the German Cup and Bundesliga title four times, with Munich on course to claim a fifth German league title.

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