Bayern Munich coach Carlo Ancelotti has criticised the recent form of Franck Ribery and suggested he could drop the Frenchman in favour of Douglas Costa for Wednesday’s DFB-Pokal clash with Borussia Dortmund.
Ribery impressed in the Bundesliga win over Dortmund at the start of the month, contributing a goal and an assist, but failed to make much of an impact in the Champions League tie against Real Madrid or the draw with Mainz.
He was substituted well before the final whistle in each of those games – lasting just 45 minutes against Mainz at the weekend – leading to questions over his fitness.
Ancelotti has made it clear his decisions were unrelated to Ribery’s physical condition and were based solely on his disappointing performances.
“Ribery is fit and can play on Wednesday,” Ancelotti stated at a news conference.
“He was out of the team the other day because he had not been playing well.
“Douglas Costa had some knee problems before, but he is doing better now. He is in a good shape and an option for the game against Dortmund.”
Ancelotti also had his say on Philipp Lahm ahead of the semi-final encounter with BVB, with the Bayern skipper stating earlier this week that he is determined to end his career on a high by winning the DFB-Pokal.
— FC Bayern English (@FCBayernEN) April 25, 2017
“Philipp is an example to follow and is very important for the team. I love his professional attitude. I am sad that he is retiring,” Ancelotti added.
“He has already made his decision, but we are obviously joking about it. I keep trying to convince him to continue playing! We could play him in midfield to make sure he does not have to run as much. Maybe that can convince him…
“I can only hope he ends his career in the best way possible.”
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