Franck Ribery has suffered ligament damage to his right ankle in an ill-timed injury blow for embattled Serie A side Fiorentina.

The Viola confirmed the setback after the 36-year-old was forced off in the first half of Saturday's 1-0 loss to Lecce.

Panagiotis Tachtsidis' sliding challenge left the experienced winger in considerable pain and he had to be helped from the field.

Precisely how long he will spend on the sidelines remains to be seen, but Fiorentina can little afford to do without the former Bayern Munich star following a third successive defeat.

A club statement read: "Ribery underwent tests after spraining his ankle. They revealed a Grade I/II tear of the medial collateral ligament of his right ankle. He has begun treatment and his condition will be re-assessed soon."

The loss to Lecce left Fiorentina nine points outside the top six after 14 games.

Newspaper reports in Italy suggest Vincenzo Montella is under pressure to save his job amid rumours Gennaro Gattuso and Cesare Prandelli could take over.

Franck Ribery has been banned for three games and fined €20,000 for pushing an assistant referee following Fiorentina's Serie A defeat to Lazio on Sunday.

Ribery, who was substituted with 15 minutes remaining in the game, twice shoved the official on the pitch following the Viola's 2-1 defeat.

The league found the Frenchman to have "come forward with a threatening attitude and disrespectful behaviour towards an assistant, in addition to disrespectful words".

Ribery was angry that Ciro Immobile's winner for Lazio was allowed to stand, with Fiorentina adamant a foul had taken place in the build-up.

The ban means he will miss games against Sassuolo, Parma and Cagliari.

Earlier on Monday he took to social media to issue an apology to the official and everyone associated with Fiorentina.

"I'm really sorry for last night," a post on Twitter read. "I apologise to my team-mates, the coach and the fans. I also apologise to Mr [Matteo] Passeri because at the end of the match I was very agitated and sad, and I hope he can understand my mood.

"I always want to stay on the pitch and help my team-mates because I came all the way to Florence for this city and this club, and I think Fiorentina should get more attention, the same attention given to other clubs, for the great work we're doing every day."

Franck Ribery has apologised for pushing an assistant referee following Fiorentina's Serie A defeat to Lazio on Sunday.

Ribery, who joined the club after leaving Bayern Munich at the end of the 2018-19 campaign, twice shoved the official on the pitch after the Viola's 2-1 defeat to Simone Inzaghi's side.

The former France international – who was substituted with 14 minutes of the game remaining – could now face a potentially lengthy ban.

He took to social media on Monday to issue an apology to the official and everyone associated with Fiorentina.

"I'm really sorry for last night," a post on Twitter read. "I apologise to my team-mates, the coach and the fans. I also apologise to Mr [Matteo] Passeri because at the end of the match I was very agitated and sad, and I hope he can understand my mood.

"I always want to stay on the pitch and help my team-mates because I came all the way to Florence for this city and this club, and I think Fiorentina should get more attention. The same attention given to other clubs, for the great work we're doing every day."

Fiorentina owner Rocco Commisso had earlier said the failure of VAR to intervene and disallow Ciro Immobile's winner led to the ugly scenes.

"It's a little bit scandalous what happened to us because it will penalise us for a long time," he said. "Ribery was a bit nervous and he was wrong, even though he had a reason. We'll see how we move forward."

Fiorentina owner Rocco Commisso thinks the proper use of VAR in Sunday's loss to Lazio would have prevented ugly scenes after the final whistle, when Franck Ribery shoved an assistant referee.

Ribery, who was named Serie A MVP in September, twice pushed the official in a heated exchange on the pitch after the Viola's controversial 2-1 defeat to Simone Inzaghi's side.

The veteran winger had earlier become frustrated at being substituted 14 minutes before Ciro Immobile's goal sealed a victory for the visitors at the Artemio Franchi.

Ribery could now face a potentially lengthy ban, something Commisso is prepared to accept.

However, the American insists the incident only took place because of Fiorentina's frustrations around Immobile's goal, with an apparent foul by Jordan Lukaku on Riccardo Sottil in the build-up going unpunished and unchecked by VAR.

"We've had replays in the US for years and we have no controversy. Last night, I saw why it's so controversial in Italy," Commisso said to Radio Anch'io Sport.

"It's a little bit scandalous what happened to us because it will penalise us for a long time.

"Ribery was a bit nervous and he was wrong, even though he had a reason. We'll see how we move forward.

"But it all comes from a foul that wasn't given. Why is VAR there if it isn't used? It was the same against Napoli.

"This is an international rule and it seems right to me that he was sent off. But I don't understand why, at international level, it wasn't signalled to go to VAR."

The result saw Lazio climb to sixth in the table after nine games, three points above Fiorentina in ninth.

Franck Ribery believes Bayern Munich have no need to try to prise Jadon Sancho away from Borussia Dortmund.

Sancho, who joined Dortmund from Manchester City as a 17-year-old in 2017, enjoyed a stunning breakout campaign in the Bundesliga last season.

The winger broke into the England set-up and has been touted as a transfer target for Manchester United, while Bayern have rarely been shy when it comes to pursuing Dortmund's most valuable assets.

Ribery ended a 12-year association with Bayern before joining Fiorentina on a free transfer for 2019-20.

Nevertheless, the veteran former France attacker believes new recruits such as Ivan Perisic and Philippe Coutinho, along with the likes of Serge Gnabry, Kingsley Coman, Thomas Muller and Robert Lewandowski, leave Bayern amply stocked in attacking areas.

"Sancho is a good player, but Bayern have enough good players in this position, where should he play?" Ribery said in an interview with Sport Bild.

"There is Muller, Gnabry, Perisic, Coman, Coutinho, Lewandowski. There is a lot of competition. I hope Sancho confirms his good year, but there would be little room for him in the Bayern squad."

Gnabry has arguably done more than anyone to fill the void left by Ribery so far after he excelled with a remarkable four-goal haul in the 7-2 Champions League demolition of Tottenham last week.

"Serge is still young, but he has character, personality," Ribery said. "He plays without fear."

"After his four goals against Tottenham, more is expected, but Serge is a man, not a machine.

"It's not easy to show top performances in every game, but Serge will continue on his way without putting too much pressure [on himself]."

Ribery also feels the burgeoning alliance between star striker Lewandowski and on-loan Barcelona playmaker Coutinho will continue to yield handsome returns.

"Bayern can now play different variations and Coutinho is good for Robert Lewandowski," he added.

"He always wants the ball; Coutinho takes responsibility and serves his team-mates - either the outside striker or just Lewy, who receives great passes."

Franck Ribery has been named Serie A's Most Valuable Player for September following a sterling start to his Fiorentina career.

The experienced former France international moved to Florence from Bayern Munich as a free agent and has taken little time to adapt to Italian football.

After debuting against Napoli in August, winger Ribery scored his maiden Fiorentina goal with a well-judged volley in a 2-2 draw at Atalanta on September 22.

He had been given a standing ovation for a lively performance in the previous weekend's stalemate against Juventus and won another after starring and scoring in a brilliant 3-1 win over AC Milan at San Siro.

Ribery, 36, made five appearances in total in September, helping Fiorentina end the month in 10th.

Vincenzo Montella will hope the former Marseille man continues his fine form when La Viola entertain mid-table Udinese on Sunday.

Franck Ribery says he may be advancing in years but on the pitch he still feels young after putting on a masterclass in Fiorentina's 3-1 win at AC Milan.

The veteran French forward scored his side's third goal at San Siro and he was applauded by the home fans after scoring and when substituted late on.

Ribery was a constant thorn in the side of a sorry Milan side, who were reduced to 10 men when the former Bayern Munich star was caught by Mateo Musacchio's rash challenge.

He may now be 36, but Ribery insists it is his love of football that inspires him to continue performing at such a brilliant standard.

"I am happy, when you play at San Siro, it's always special. It's a huge arena, so many fans," he told Sky Sport Italia in quotes translated by Football Italia.

"It's a bit difficult for Milan fans right now, but we put in a good performance and that's important for us.

"Yes, I am old, but I feel young on the pitch. Football is my life, I love it. I was hungry when I came to Fiorentina and it excites me to see the team doing so well.

"I came to help Fiorentina, the players and the fans. I am happy, but I need to work every day, every week to play the way I did tonight."

Ribery's mazy run was influential in winning the penalty from which Erick Pulgar opened the scoring and he linked brilliantly all game with Federico Chiesa, who himself helped set up Gaetano Castrovilli's goal and had a spot-kick saved.

"Federico is a good player, I always talk to him and he listens. It's important for him and for the team," Ribery added.

There was a huge roar from Fiorentina boss and ex-Milan coach Vincenzo Montella at full-time and he praised Ribery's timeless performance.

"I took Ribery off because I expected they'd give him a standing ovation," Montella said. 

"He is always in the game, always decisive, and has capabilities well beyond the norm, even if he doesn't have the change of pace he had five or six years ago."

Franck Ribery starred as Fiorentina piled more misery on the under-fire Marco Giampaolo with a resounding 3-1 victory over sorry 10-man AC Milan on Sunday.

Giampaolo is only six Serie A games into his Rossoneri tenure but a fourth league defeat in a lifeless performance will do little to quieten rumours his position is already under threat. 

The hosts trailed at the break thanks to Erick Pulgar's penalty and Mateo Musacchio's dismissal for a poor challenge on the sublime Ribery severely hit Milan's chances of salvaging a result. 

Gaetano Castrovilli scored a first Serie A goal to ensure the game was up for Milan and possibly Giampaolo, while a saved Federico Chiesa penalty preceded a deserved goal for Ribery and a Rafael Leao consolation late on.

Fiorentina threatened first when Ribery teed up Chiesa for a first-time shot that almost squirmed under Gianluigi Donnarumma, who eventually saved with his head.

It was Ribery's brilliance that led to the opener. The veteran's quick feet flummoxed Musacchio and, although his one-on-one shot was saved, Ismael Bennacer tripped Chiesa on the follow-up.

Pulgar clinically found the bottom-right corner from 12 yards and Milan were fortunate not to go two behind when Castrovilli's goal was ruled out, as Chiesa needlessly strayed offside.

The situation worsened 10 minutes into the second half when Musacchio was sent off - via a VAR review - for a rash, high-studs lunge on Ribery.

Fiorentina then doubled their lead through Castrovilli, who smashed home after Donnarumma could only parry Chiesa's cross.

Donnarumma ensured another reckless Bennacer challenge, this time on Castrovilli, was not punished as he saved Chiesa's spot kick.

But Fiorentina coach Vincenzo Montella celebrated a resounding three points against his former club when Ribery twisted and turned before drilling into the bottom-left corner, Leao's excellent solo effort to open his Milan account doing little to sour the visitors' delight.

What does it mean? San Sir-woe for struggling Giampaolo

It seems pretty harsh for a head coach to find himself under pressure just six competitive games into a job, but that's the very predicament Giampaolo finds himself in. Gennaro Gattuso has been linked with a shock return, while Luciano Spalletti and Claudio Ranieri are thought to be under consideration. Milan were devoid of ideas and static with the ball. Giampaolo needs more and fast.

Ageless Ribery marvels in Milan

He may now be 36 but Ribery is still an absolute Rolls Royce of a footballer. On countless occasions it appeared the ball was glued to his feet as he sauntered past defenders with ease time and again. The energy and movement of Chiesa, lined up alongside Ribery in Fiorentina's attack, meant the ex-Bayern Munich star always had an outlet and even the home fans applauded his late goal. A standing ovation followed when he made way for Rachid Ghezzal in the 89th minute.

Musacchio and Bennacer typify hapless Milan

There were several poor performances for Milan, but Mussachio had already been embarrassed by Ribery in the build-up to Fiorentina's first goal before his shoddy tackle on the veteran winger drew a deserved red. Bennacer gave away two penalties in an outing he will want to forget quicker than he might be allowed to.

What's next?

Milan need to quickly inject some spark into their season and will hope to do so at Genoa on Saturday. Fiorentina play a day later at home to Udinese.

Robert Lewandowski hopes to have won the same level of respect as Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery when his time comes to leave Bayern Munich.

Veteran wingers Robben and Ribery moved on from Bayern at the end of last term, the pair given emotional send-offs after 10 and 12 seasons at the club respectively.

Their final Allianz Arena appearances proved a fitting occasion as both players scored in a 5-1 win over Eintracht Frankfurt that sealed the Bundesliga title.

Star striker Lewandowski, now in his sixth season with the club, could rival their longevity after signing a new contract through to 2023.

By then, the prolific 31-year-old might be ready to make his own grand departure.

"To have that goodbye is definitely a dream of mine," Lewandowski told Sport1.

"I'm not yet thinking of leaving, but to be honest I almost had tears in my eyes when saying goodbye to them.

"The experience was not only a nice moment for Ribery and Robben, but also for us team-mates. To have such a nice farewell is something special."

Lewandowski seemed less enthused about Bayern during the close season, when he expressed frustration over the club's lack of transfer activity.

Ivan Perisic, Philippe Coutinho and Mickael Cuisance all arrived late in the window, placating the Poland international.

"Those responsible have done a good job in the transfer market," he said.

"We can be glad that we now have such strong new additions to our team."

He added: "We prepared really well in pre-season.

"The results can already be seen in how we play football. How we build our game and the movements we have in attack already look very good. I benefit from that as well."

Bayern drew 2-2 against Hertha Berlin in their season opener but cruised past Schalke and Mainz before the international break to sit second on the table, two points behind Saturday's opponents RB Leipzig.

Franck Ribery could make his Fiorentina debut against Napoli when the Serie A season gets up and running this weekend, says Vincenzo Montella.

Ribery joined La Viola as a free agent on a two-year deal this week having left Bayern Munich at the end of his contract.

The former France international suggested in his presentation he would not be ready to play this weekend, and certainly is not fit to start.

But Montella is keen on using the 36-year-old for Saturday's season opener at Stadio Artemio Franchi.

"I want him to be with us because he wants to be a part of the game," Montella told a news conference. "I want him to be with us and I hope for a chance for him to play.

"He joined us because he wants to be still on the first line. He has to be competitive, I know he says he wants to, he works on it and I realised by myself in these first days of training.

"He doesn't pull himself out during the sessions. He knows he can get results only through hard work. I am sure he will transmit this mentality to all the squad.

"But I need to focus on the game. Dreams are great, but we need to keep our feet on the ground in this moment."

Ribery was given a rousing reception at his official presentation on Thursday, with thousands of Fiorentina fans attending to welcome him to the club.

Franck Ribery hopes to play on beyond the age of 40 after joining Fiorentina but says he does not intend to be a rival to Cristiano Ronaldo.

Ribery's 12-year stay at Bayern Munich concluded when his contract expired at the end of the 2018-19 season, in which he won a ninth Bundesliga title.

Following prolonged speculation about his next move, the former France winger agreed a two-year deal with La Viola.

And Ribery, who plans to follow in the footsteps of Serie A veterans such as Francesco Totti, is aiming to lead Fiorentina back into the Champions League.

"We have had a very long negotiation, but I am very happy to be here in Florence," said the 36-year-old.

"I saw great motivation and great confidence in me from the management, and that is why I am here. Naturally, my wife also helped in the choice, because my family is very important.

"I am very motivated, I always want to play. I have a two-year contract and I want to be decisive and help the young players. I want to give something new to this club, I want to bring Fiorentina into the top three of the table.

"I came here to help my team, which is Fiorentina. I am not here to be a rival to Ronaldo. Serie A is a great tournament with many excellent players. Inter bought well on the market, as did Juventus.

"The thing I appreciate the most is that people here love and live for football. It's a wonderful experience and I want to enjoy myself on the field.

"Football is my life. It's the reason I wanted to remain in Europe and I was fortunate to find Fiorentina. I hope to continue playing until the age of 40, just like Francesco Totti."

Fiorentina open the new Serie A season at home to Napoli on Saturday but Ribery is not expecting to be involved.

"I am not ready to start, but I am happy that I got to train with the squad today, which is very different to training by yourself," he added. 

"I need a week or two to be ready to play, but if the coach [Vincenzo Montella] tells me that I'm needed, I will step up."

Fiorentina head coach Vincenzo Montella lauded the "extraordinary" Franck Ribery after the former Bayern Munich star joined the Serie A side.

Ribery completed a free transfer to Fiorentina following his departure from Bundesliga champions Bayern – the French veteran reportedly signing a two-year deal.

The 36-year-old enjoyed a trophy-laden 12-year career with Bayern, winning nine Bundesliga titles and the Champions League, and Montella hailed Ribery.

"He is an extraordinary player, he's eager and we believe he can express himself at his levels here," Montella told Sky Sport Italia.

"He had his first training session today, but I was the only other one there, so I put my boots on after many years and had a kick-about."

Fiorentina open their Serie A season at home to Carlo Ancelotti's Scudetto hopefuls Napoli on Saturday.

Asked if Ribery could make his debut on the opening weekend, Montella said: "We'll see over the next few days how he responds to training and he is very determined.

"But we should take it easy. He was a little rusty, as was I."

Fiorentina consultant Joe Barone, who works alongside new president and owner Rocco Commisso, added via Sky Sport Italia: "Choosing Florence is easy! It's the city of art, of love, he already speaks Italian pretty well and his wife loves Florence.

"He was offered a lot of money elsewhere, but he chose Fiorentina for a club that is growing and he saw at the airport how important the fans are in that choice."

"He is training, is very eager and today is a very important moment for Fiorentina," Barone continued.

"It's exciting fans throughout Tuscany and the world, I saw so many people at the airport and hope there will be many more at the stadium tomorrow to celebrate Ribery."

Franck Ribery is to take on a new challenge in Serie A at the age of 36, having agreed a deal to join Fiorentina.

The winger has signed for La Viola on a free transfer after leaving Bayern Munich at the end of last season.

Ribery enjoyed 12 hugely successful years in Munich but is excited by the prospect of playing for "a big team" in "a beautiful city", while others of a similar age elect to wind down their careers on less high-profile shores.

The former Marseille man says he spoke with ex-team-mate Luca Toni before accepting Fiorentina's offer - a wise decision, given Toni is one of only four people to have represented both clubs as player or head coach.

Below, we look at how the others got on...

Stefan Effenberg
Bayern: 1990-92
Fiorentina:1992-94
Bayern (again): 1998-02

Although best known for his success at the heart of the midfield of Bayern - where he won three Bundesligas and the 2001 Champions League among nine trophies in total - Effenberg did spend two years in Tuscany.

Joining at the age of 24 after Lothar Matthaus had returned to Bayern to take his place, Effenberg endured a miserable first season as Fiorentina were relegated from Serie A. He helped them bounce straight back to the top flight as Serie B champions, though, before returning to Germany with Borussia Monchengladbach.

 

Mario Gomez
Bayern: 2009-13
Fiorentina: 2013-16

Gomez won the treble in 2012-13 in his final season with Bayern before heading to Florence, having scored 113 goals in 174 appearances in all competitions and lifted seven trophies.

The striker's time in Italy was unlucky, though, with knee ligament damage restricting him to only 21 starts in Serie A before he was loaned to Besiktas for the 2015-16 campaign. He helped them win the Turkish Super Lig.

 

Franck Ribery
Bayern: 2007-19
Fiorentina: 2019-?

Winning 23 trophies in 12 seasons is remarkable by anyone's standards, and it highlights just how important Ribery has been to Bayern's restoration as the pre-eminent force in German football over the past decade.

The treble of 2012-13 was his crowning achievement and should, arguably, have seen him win the Ballon d'Or. Since then, injuries have begun to take their toll, and it is unclear just how effective the Frenchman will prove to be in Italy.
 

Luca Toni
Fiorentina: 2005-07
Bayern: 2007-10
Fiorentina (again): 2012-13

Toni won the World Cup with Italy midway through an impressive first spell with Fiorentina, prompting Bayern to spend a reported €11.6million to take the striker to Germany.

Three domestic trophies in his first season were followed by a more fallow spell, however, while an Achilles injury and disagreements with coach Louis van Gaal led to his departure in 2010. A return to Fiorentina would come three years later, where he enjoyed a single productive season before heading for Hellas Verona.

 

Giovanni Trapattoni
Bayern: 1994-95
Bayern (again): 1996-98
Fiorentina: 1998-00

For a man who turned out for just two clubs as a player, Trapattoni has certainly enjoyed a nomadic coaching career.

He was twice Bayern boss, winning the Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal and DFB-Ligapokal in his second spell, before he returned to Italy with Fiorentina. Those two years in Florence ended trophyless, but they were enough to land him the job with the national team.

Franck Ribery has completed a move to Serie A side Fiorentina following his departure from Bayern Munich.

Ribery, 36, became a free agent when his Bayern contact expired at the end of June.

The French winger spent 12 years in Bavaria, winning nine Bundesliga titles, and was given a warm welcome by Fiorentina fans when he flew into Florence on Wednesday.

The length of the deal has not been confirmed, but reports in Italy indicate it will run for two years.

"I am here with my family. We're doing something together," Ribery told reporters when he arrived in Florence.

"I have already spoken to Fiorentina and Luca Toni, who told me this was a great club and a beautiful city."

Vincenzo Montella could potentially include Ribery in his squad for Saturday's season opener at home to Napoli, who are coached by former Bayern boss Carlo Ancelotti.

Premier League club Sheffield United, A-League side Western Sydney Wanderers and teams in Saudi Arabia and Qatar had all been linked to the former Marseille star.

Ribery made 25 appearances and 10 starts in his final Bundesliga campaign, scoring six goals.

Franck Ribery has completed a move to Serie A side Fiorentina following his departure from Bayern Munich.

Ribery, 36, became a free agent when his Bayern contact expired at the end of June.

The French winger spent 12 years in Bavaria, winning nine Bundesliga titles, and was given a warm welcome by Fiorentina fans when he flew into Florence on Wednesday.

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