Franck Ribery is relishing Bayern Munich’s Champions League showdown against Paris Saint-Germain with the French veteran insisting he will not retire even if the Germans win this season’s European title.
Bayern are at Hoffenheim on Saturday in the Bundesliga, but open their Champions League campaign at home to Anderlecht next Tuesday having also drawn Paris Saint-Germain and Celtic, who face the French league giants in Glasgow on the same day.
PSG then host Carlo Ancelotti’s Bayern at the Parc des Princes on September 27 in a key showdown which could decide Group B.
“Paris is a lot stronger than last season, it will be a super game. I hope we are all in top form. And we need to go out thinking ‘we’re Bayern. We fear no one. Wherever we play, we win’,” Ribery told German daily Bild.
“Anyone who fears Paris, stays in Munich.”
Last month, PSG paid 222 million euros ($266 million) for Neymar and signed French striker Kylian Mbappe on loan with an option to buy him next year in a deal that could reach 180 million euros.
Ousmane Dembele cost Barcelona 148 million euros from Borussia Dortmund as the Catalan giants seek to replace Neymar.
Ribery said inflated transfer fees are a sign of the times.
“I can only say that those responsible need to understand again that playing football is a joy, it’s fun and you play for your shirt and for the fans,” he commented.
“I don’t know what I’d have been worth when I was 25, perhaps a lot of money, but it doesn’t matter.
“When I wanted to be a professional, my aim was to play on television, so my family could see me. I didn’t play for money.”
The 34-year-old Ribery has been at Bayern since 2007 and his current contract expires next June.
He was part of the Bayern team which beat Borussia Dortmund 2-1 in the 2013 Champions League final in London when Arjen Robben scored the winner.
However, former France star Ribery says he will not hang up his boots even if the Bavarians lift the trophy in next May’s final in Kiev.
“I want to win the Champions League once more. That is my dream! That is my adrenalin, my motivation,” he said.
“I also can’t say if this will be my last season.
“I am fit and healthy, I can still play for two or three years. I love football. I don’t want to sit at home, I want to play.”
Ribery hopes to be offered a contract extension with fellow veteran winger Robben also out of contract in June 2018.
“I have been here for ten years, Arjen for eight,” said Ribery.
“We have always fought hard and won a lot.
“I think the fans and the club can be very happy with us.”