“After I retire, I will come back to live in Bavaria, I feel good there and my family feels good there. ” This cry from the heart of Franck Ribéry, launched in 2019 when leaving to play in Italy and to close a long episode of twelve years in the red jersey, says a lot. Historical enemy of some big French clubs, starting with the Greens of Saint-Etienne, the Bavarian club succeeds very well with French players.
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Before Franck Ribéry, a real mascot in Germany because of his joker temperament, other big French names had the honors of the local jersey. There was the 1991 Jean-Pierre Papin Golden Ball which carried it for two seasons, in 1995 and 1996. Willy Sagnol and especially Bixente Lizarazu lived there the best years of their club careers.
No city in the world likes blue so much
Today, four Blues play in Munich: Kingsley Coman, Lucas Hernandez, Benjamin Pavard, and Corentin Tolisso. Two of them, Hernandez and Pavard, are solid holders of Didier Deschamps at full-back positions. The other two are never far in the plans of the coach. Kingsley Coman and Corentin Tolisso return regularly during the match and they are neck and neck with the usual members who overshadow them in the usual eleven: Antoine Griezmann and Ousmane Dembelé for the first, Adrien Rabiot for the second.
No club in the world, not even in France, can boast of employing so many Blues, in very different game compartments, defense, midfield and attack. This curiosity is explained first of all for demographic reasons, since France is the world’s second largest exporter of professional players, behind Brazil.
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Nine hundred and fifty French people evolve under shirts of foreign clubs, many in the four major championships, England, Italy, Spain. And so Germany, which has always done well for players who have left French training centers, known for their seriousness. This success concerns all the positions, except that of guardian, the French gatekeepers rarely finding a taker abroad anyway.
Bayern Munich, a welcoming club for French recruits
If many French players have broken their teeth in England or Italy, failures are rare in Germany, and particularly at Bayern Munich, which has rarely reserved a bad spell for its French recruits. The French style works wonders across the Rhine and Bayern knows how to receive, offering its recruits all the services they need: villas in the upscale neighborhoods where no one bothers them, membership cards in carefully chosen pubs, large local sedans with club arms, etc.
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This Tuesday, June 15, they will be two in the starting XI, Lucas Hernandez and Benjamin Pavard, while Corentin Tolisso and Kingsley Coman will probably be on the bench. But within earshot to warn friends of the adverse dangers they will perceive better than anyone because they master German.
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The Mannschaft drawing largely from the workforce of Bayern for its national team, the Blues will leave with this small strategic and psychological advantage. It’s always better to know how the house opposite works and to be able to decipher the exchanges and instructions circulating in the opposing camp.