Ligue 1 - Blanc reveals Ribery and Gourcuff meeting

Wed, 23 Mar 13:36:00 2011

France coach Laurent Blanc has revealed that Franck Ribery and Yoann Gourcuff spoke "without any problem" after they met for the first time since the World Cup.

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Bayern Munich’s Ribery, who has not played for France since his role in the World Cup training walkout that shocked football, was alleged to have bullied Lyon playmaker Gourcuff during their ill-fated campaign in South Africa.

While it was widely reported that relations appeared fractious between the pair, Ribery denied claims of bullying, although asked why Gourcuff neither confirmed nor denied the reports at the time.

With Ribery’s FFF ban up, Blanc has decided to recall the former Marseille star for the Euro 2012 qualifier against Luxembourg, and he said the pair had met without difficulty.

"As for what happened before, I cannot comment directly because I am not really aware of it," said Blanc, who was not France coach at the time.

"Here you think there is a problem between Yoann Gourcuff and Franck Ribery. Here I can intervene here because I am inside the group - Ribery tried to explain what he feels, and that is great. The pair of them have had a discussion, which confirmed what I said, that there is no particular problem between them."

Blanc added that Ribery, who has had to contend with allegations about his private life and a loss of fitness and form at Bayern, was less aware of the media fallout while Gourcuff, who plays in France, was immersed in it.

"Franck, with respect to all the problems he has had, as ignored everything that has happened in France since he played abroad.

"He does not read the papers, does not watch French TV. But Yoann has been exposed to the subject. So the discussion allowed them to put everything on the table and to ensure they do not start on a false note. So for that it was a good thing to do."


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