Champions League

Ribery: Final ranks with World Cup

Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben celebrate a goal against Basel.
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Franck Ribery ranks Saturday's Champions League final against Chelsea alongside the 2006 World Cup showpiece as one of the biggest games of his life.

The France international was on the losing side in Berlin's Olympic Stadium six years ago when Italy were crowned world champions and he is desperate to be on the winning team this time.

"I would say it is the same as the World Cup final against Italy in 2006," he said. "That is the best thing in international football, but this is the best in club football and of course it is worth as much."

Saturday's final is even more important for Ribery given he was suspended two years ago when Bayern last reached the Champions League final against Inter Milan in Madrid.

With no guarantee that he will ever get another chance to appear in such an important fixture, he is fully focused.

"It is not every year that you get to play in a Champions League final," he said.

"I am now 29 and I don't know when my next chance will be, or if I will even get one.

"Maybe I can win the Bundesliga and DFB-Pokal again in future, but it is harder to win the Champions League.

"Therefore, it is very, very important."

Chelsea know a lot about Ribery having tried to lure him to Stamford Bridge three years ago, and the Frenchman expects to be a marked man tomorrow.

He and former Blues forward Arjen Robben are widely regarded as Bayern's most dangerous duo, but this is not something which perturbs a man who is used to being at the centre of attention.

"What do you want me to say, we are both here," he said when asked if Bayern are overly reliant on a partnership that bears the name 'Robbery' in Germany.

"We are strong when only one of us can play, but it is better for us when we are both on the field together."

That should be the case tomorrow, even if Robben only trained lightly yesterday, and Ribery expects to have plenty of possession and chances to show what he is capable of.

"They are an English team and are very compact," he said.

"Maybe they will look to play on the counter attack and aim for (Didier) Drogba.

"Probably we will have more of the ball than Chelsea, but they are a very strong team, especially from set pieces."
 

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