French soccer star Franck Ribery, whose long list of accomplishments includes a 2013 UEFA Best Player in Europe Award and being named 2013 Muslim Athlete of the Year by Taqwa Magazine, will reportedly miss the upcoming World Cup due to a back injury according to some French media outlets.
Although Ribery helped his pro team, Bayern Munich, win another German league (Bundesliga) championship this season — his fourth league title with the club — the 31-year-old midfielder missed significant time dealing with ongoing back problems. He still managed to score 16 goals in 39 appearances for the club, and has five goals and five assists in just eight appearances for France this year in matches leading up to the World Cup.
France’s national team coach, Didier Deschamps, is not officially ruling Ribery out.
“Backache, it means everything and nothing,” Deschamps was quoted by UK’s Daily Mail. “I do not go into the medical field, but we will do everything to get him back in the best conditions.”
The World Cup gets underway in Brazil on June 12. France’s first match is on June 15 against Honduras. Ribery is joined on the French team by fellow Muslim players Karim Benzema, Paul Pogba, Bacary Sagna and Mamadou Sakho.
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