French star Ribery seeks redemption from 2010

Keyvan Naraghi
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Franck Ribery ready to make amends

France playmaker Franck Ribery, seen here addressing the press as he gets back in the national team for the first time since the World Cup fiasco, apologised on Monday for his behaviour in the run up to and during a disastrous 2010 season

France playmaker Franck Ribery, back in the national team for the first time since the World Cup fiasco, apologised on Monday for his behaviour in the run up to and during a disastrous 2010 season.

Before his first press conference since the World Cup, Ribery read a statement in which he explained how he "got it wrong in his behaviour as a footballer (during) a horrible 2010 from all points of view."

"I took the wrong roads, I lost myself," said Ribery.

The 28-year-old had a season to forget in 2009/2010 as he struggled with injury, is under investigation for his involvement in an alleged under-age call-girl scandal and was banned for the Champions League final defeat to Inter Milan after being sent-off in the first leg of the semi-final against Lyon.

Things did not improve in South Africa at the World Cup and when France failed to qualify for the second round after finishing bottom of their group, Ribery was banned for three games for his involvement in the player revolt after Nicolas Anelka was sent home.

"I hurt people, people who are very dear to me, I disappointed even shocked many others: I blame myself and I apologise," said the Bayern Munich player.

Ribery also slammed the media for their treatment of him.

"There were things said by you which shocked me, I felt it was spiteful and I was being hounded," he said. "It affected a lot of people. I did things which were maybe not always correct. The World Cup didn't go well, I wasn't good on the pitch, but at no time did I make decisions myself.

"In the bus, we were all there. We were 23, we all suffered together. Now I want to turn the page, I want to forget all that, the France jersey I always have it in my heart. I want to find the pleasure again that I knew in 2006."

Ribery thanked France coach Laurent Blanc for selecting him and said he was determined to repay his confidence.

"I thank him for his placing his confidence in me and for taking me back into the France team. For me the France team has always been a dream and a source of happiness," he said.

"I've learned a lot, matured, changed my behaviour. The World Cup was a bad experience but I've learned a lot. It's made me a lot stronger.

"I had to find the pleasure of playing again and my level. Now I'm really enjoying myself."

France play a Euro 2012 qualifier against Luxembourg on March 25 and a friendly against Croatia four days later.