Franck Ribery turns 35 on Saturday and Jupp Heynckes hopes the Bayern Munich winger can celebrate by securing an eighth Bundesliga crown.
Ribery has enjoyed great success since swapping Marseille for Munich in 2007 and is set to equal the record for Bundesliga titles wins – joining Bayern greats Oliver Kahn, Mehmet Scholl, Philipp Lahm and Bastian Schweinsteiger.
Victory over Augsburg this weekend would make it six in a row for Bayern and, according to Heynckes, give Ribery the perfect birthday gift.
“I don’t know [the plans for his birthday] yet, but the best present would be a championship,” Heynckes told a media conference.
“To be able to celebrate an eighth championship on his 35th birthday would be outstanding.
“Even Franz Beckenbauer didn’t achieve that [eight titles], it’s incredible.”
“From day one I developed a special relationship with @FranckRibery. I know what makes him tick and how he needs to be handled. We have a mutual trust. Since I’ve been back, he has been more motivated than ever. And you can see the results now.” #MiaSanMia pic.twitter.com/K4m8693Cwy
— FC Bayern English (@FCBayernEN) April 6, 2018
Whether Ribery plays remains uncertain, though, as Heynckes looks to keep the 34-year-old fresh for the rest of the season, with Bayern chasing another treble.
“He has played Saturday [against Borussia Dortmund] and Tuesday [against Sevilla], so I will have to talk to him to see how he feels,” Heynckes added.
“Maybe he’ll be an assistant next to me on the bench! I’d prefer that!”
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