Ribery move demand rocks Marseille
Ribery is being chased by clubs and not just his team-mates.
PARIS, France -- French World Cup star Franck Ribery said Friday that he was determined to leave Marseille, dealing a devastating blow to the club's management on the eve of the new season.
In his most forthright comments to date concerning his future, Ribery said he wanted to join a club that could give him the promise of trophies and Champions League football.
"My wish is to leave Marseille," Ribery told French broadcaster TF1.
"I want to leave because I want to win things. I want to play in the Champions League, I want to continue to develop, I want to be around big players. For me, that's important."
The 23-year-old -- a key figure in France's run to the World Cup final in Germany -- did not give any information about his future destination.
"The directors at Marseille know where I want to go, and the club that I want to sign for knows as well. Now it's up to them to reach an agreement."
Ribery's existing deal with Marseille runs until 2010 but privately the club concede there is no chance of holding the player to that agreement.
Marseille president Pape Diouf however insisted Friday that Ribery must stay at the Stade Velodrome for at least one more season.
"It's all just talk. Nothing has changed," said Diouf. "Ribery is under contract until 2010. He will respect his contract this season whether he likes it or not."
Ribery -- who has been linked to Bayern Munich, Arsenal, Real Madrid and Lyon -- said there could be no going back on his desire to leave.
"My mind is made up and I'm not looking back," Ribery said. "But I'm not forgetting that Marseille is my club. I love this club, I love the fans -- they are the best in France."
"I hope people will understand my decision. I know the fans will be a bit disappointed but I'm young, and I want to do something else."
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