Franck Ribery's playing career has come to an end.

On Friday, the former France and Bayern Munich winger announced his retirement at the age of 39, having agreed to terminate his deal with Serie A club Salernitana.

He signed for Salernitana ahead of last season, though for the first time since the 2004-05 season, failed to score in the league.

His sole Serie A appearance this season came in a 1-0 defeat to Roma back in August, as a second-half substitute, and in truth it was no surprise when rumours recently emerged of his imminent retirement.

There can be no doubt, however, that Ribery will go down as one of European football's greats of the modern era.

In 2013, Ribery was nominated for the Ballon d'Or, finishing third in the voting behind Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.

Falling short against two of the best to play the game is no shame, and using Opta data, here are some of the key facts from Ribery's glittering career.

Ligue 1 breakthrough

Having made a name for himself with Brest in Ligue 2, Ribery was recruited by Metz in 2004. He spent only half a season there and scored just one goal before joining Turkish giants Galatasaray, yet he made a big impact, with comparisons drawn to one of the club's greatest exports, Robert Pires.

His only goal in Turkey came in the Turkish Cup final against Gala's great rivals Fenerbahce, in a 5-1 victory. Having claimed his first trophy, Ribery headed home to France, signing for Marseille.

It was a messy move, with FIFA ultimately ruling in Ribery's favour after the player claimed he had not been paid his wages by Gala, as well as alleging to have been threatened by his former agent and a club director. 

Ribery spent two seasons with Marseille and became a star, being named the National Union of Professional Footballers' (UNFP) Young Player of the Year in 2006. 

His performances at the 2006 World Cup (more on that later) only increased his profile, with Marseille seeing off interest from Real Madrid, Arsenal and, controversially, rivals Lyon to keep hold of Ribery.

 

That decision paid off for OM. In his final campaign in France, in 2006-07, Ribery provided eight assists, behind only Nancy's Benjamin Gavanon (nine), and had the highest tally of chances created per 90 minutes (2.95) among players who had featured for over 100 minutes across the season.

Marseille finished second, after losing in the final of the Coupe de France, and Ribery was named the French Player of the Year by France Football.

Flourishing for France

Ribery made his debut for Les Bleus in May 2006, ahead of the World Cup in Germany, where he truly made his name as a superstar.

Between making his debut and playing his final international match in March 2014, Ribery featured in more France games than any other player (81) in the same period, 11 ahead of second-ranked Florent Malouda.

Indeed, his 37 goal involvements (16 goals, 21 assists) was more than any other French player, and puts him sixth on the nation's goal involvements list in the 21st century.

He helped France reach the final of the 2006 World Cup, though they failed to make it out of the group stage in South Africa four years later, while success also eluded them in the Euros during Ribery's stint on the international stage.

Greatness in Germany

In 2007, Bayern paid Marseille €25million for the 24-year-old. It was an investment worth every cent.

Ribery went on to play 425 times for Bayern in all competitions, making him the non-German player with the second-most appearances for the club, behind David Alaba (431), since 1965.

When it comes to French players, only Jonathan Schmid has made more Bundesliga appearances (296) than Ribery (273), who scored 124 goals in all competitions for Bayern.

Since detailed data collection of the Bundesliga began in 2004, Thomas Muller is the only player to provide more assists than Ribery, who set up 92 goals.

Ribery was at the peak of his powers in the 2012-13 season, as he helped Bayern win the treble and was named UEFA Men's Player of the Year, before going on to come third in the Ballon d'Or rankings.

That season, he provided 14 assists in the Bundesliga, a total trailing only Andres Iniesta (16) when it came to players in Europe's big five leagues.

Ribery left Bayern as a club great, having formed one of the all-time most fearsome wing partnerships with Arjen Robben. He won nine Bundesliga titles, a tally that trails only former club-mates Alaba and Robert Lewandowski (10 each) when it comes to foreign players in Germany's top tier.

 

Italian swansong

After leaving Bayern, Ribery tried his hand in Italy, joining Fiorentina.

Over his two seasons in Florence, Ribery created 70 goalscoring opportunities in Serie A, behind only Erick Pulgar (104) in Fiorentina's squad. His dribbling ability was still top class, too, with Gaetano Castrovilli his only team-mate to complete more dribbles (123 to Ribery's 117).

Ribery played 51 times for Fiorentina in all competitions, starting on 47 occasions. He scored five goals, contributed nine assists and had 182 touches in the opposition's box. Surprisingly, he played only five successful crosses, though he was often deployed in a more central role for La Viola.

In his 25 matches for Salernitana, Ribery failed to score, though his three assists in Serie A mean he is the club's joint-top creator of goals, alongside Milan Djuric and Pasquale Mazzocchi, in the same timeframe. 

Former France and Bayern Munich winger Franck Ribery has announced his retirement from football.

Ribery's deal with Salernitana would have taken his stay at the Serie A side up to the end of this season, but he has decided to hang his boots up now.

The 39-year-old also played for a number of other clubs in a 22-year career, including Metz, Galatasaray, Marseille and Fiorentina.

Ribery spent the bulk of his career at Bayern, though, where he won nine Bundesliga titles in 12 years.

He also won six DFB-Pokal titles, one Champions League, a UEFA Super Cup and a FIFA Club World Cup.

In his time at the Bavarian giants, Ribery made 273 Bundesliga appearances, recording 86 goals and 92 assists.

He wrote on Twitter: "The ball stops. The feelings inside me do not. Thanks to everyone for this great adventure."

 

Ribery forged a spectacular wing partnership with Arjen Robben, with the duo terrorising defences from either flank during their decade together in Munich, before both left the club in 2019.

Ribery won 81 caps for France in all, scoring 16 times before retiring from international football in 2014, and was a member of Les Bleus' squad when they finished as runners-up to Italy at the 2006 World Cup.

He moved to Fiorentina after leaving Germany, scoring five and assisting nine goals in 51 appearances before signing for Salernitana in 2021.

Overall he managed just three assists in 25 games for the club, and featured only twice this season, both times in August, in the Coppa Italia against Parma and as a substitute in the 1-0 Serie A defeat at home to Roma.

Ribery will remain at Salernitana in a non-playing capacity, the club said.

Julian Nagelsmann saw the Bayern Munich he was looking for as the reigning champions crushed Freiburg 5-0 to leapfrog their visitors into second place in the Bundesliga.

Serge Gnabry, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, Leroy Sane, Sadio Mane and Marcel Sabitzer scored in a rout at the Allianz Arena as Bayern kept up their remarkable home record against Freiburg.

Bayern have never lost at home against Sunday's opponents in the Bundesliga, with this success meaning they have taken 20 wins and three draws from their 23 clashes in Munich.

Results and performances in the Champions League have been good for Bayern, but in the Bundesliga they have been inconsistent. Now, perhaps, after last week's jolt of letting Borussia Dortmund pinch a point from 2-0 down, we might start to see coach Nagelsmann's men at their clinical best domestically on a regular basis.

Bayern began this game two points behind their visitors, just the third time they had ever gone into a Bundesliga game against Freiburg trailing them in the standings.

A strong start from Bayern resulted in them leading inside 13 minutes thanks to Gnabry's fine header after Mark Flekken's sharp save from Leroy Sane's close-range shot resulted in the ball looping up towards the penalty spot.

The hosts doubled their lead in the 33rd minute when Choupo-Moting was not sufficiently closed down inside the penalty area by Matthias Ginter, with the striker drilling a low shot across Flekken and inside the left post.

Gnabry hit the left post before Sane struck in the 52nd minute to effectively kill the game, as a fierce 22-yard shot with his left foot sped past Flekken into the left corner.

With the pressure off, Mane got in on the act with a neat lob after Philipp Lienhart made an embarrassingly poor attempt to cut out Gnabry's floated pass from the right flank. Sabitzer added the fifth in the 80th minute, capitalising on more messing defending before sweeping home from 15 yards.

Oliver Kahn says Bayern Munich "absolutely have to stop" allowing opposing teams back into games after they nearly squandered another lead in the 4-2 Champions League win at Viktoria Plzen.

Goals from Sadio Mane and Thomas Muller, as well as a Leon Goretzka double had Bayern four goals up and cruising at half-time against the Czech champions.

But two second-half strikes from Plzen led to worries Bayern would let another advantage slip, after conceding a 95th-minute Anthony Modeste equaliser in the 2-2 Bundesliga draw with Borussia Dortmund at the weekend having led 2-0.

Julian Nagelsmann's side held on this time for three points to secure their place in the knockout stages, but Bayern CEO Kahn remains worried over their ability to see out games.

"Four games, four wins and into the round of 16," Kahn posted on Twitter. "A compliment to the team, in this group that was not a matter of course.

"After a furious first half, we let the opponent come back into the game.

"We absolutely have to stop this!"

Bayern Munich left-back Alphonso Davies has been diagnosed with a "bruised skull" following an incident in Saturday's Der Klassiker against Borussia Dortmund.

Davies was caught in the head by Jude Bellingham's foot after the pair challenged for a loose ball during the 2-2 draw at Signal Iduna Park.

The Canada international received treatment for the injury in the first half before being substituted at half-time.

Bayern confirmed on Sunday that the 21-year-old suffered a "bruised skull", though did not give any timescale for his return to action.

Bayern boss Julian Nagelsmann was not happy with the challenge and believed Bellingham, who had already been booked, should have received a red card.

Speaking after the game, Nagelsmann said: "He hits him in the face. The rules are clear. There is a suspicion of a concussion. That's not surprising given the kick in the face.

"Four months ago, we had a training course. They told us that a kick in the face is a red."

Edin Terzic applauded his Borussia Dortmund players for their "wild" comeback which brought about a dramatic 2-2 draw with Bayern Munich in Saturday's Klassiker.

Head coach Terzic saw his side fall two goals behind after Leon Goretzka and Leroy Sane both struck from long range.

He later suggested other teams would have folded at that point and crumpled to a heavy defeat, so Dortmund's resilience and refusal to buckle brought cause for celebration.

Youssoufa Moukoko narrowed the deficit in the 74th minute, and Anthony Modeste equalised in the fifth minute of stoppage time when he headed in Nico Schlotterbeck's cross.

The scenes of delirium inside Signal Iduna Park told their own story, with Dortmund halting a run of eight consecutive defeats to their great rivals.

"It was a very intense match," Terzic said. "In the first half in particular, we defended very well and kept it compact in the middle.

"The ball was in front of us. We gave away only that one shot at goal which made it 1-0. 

"At that point, it's not so easy to keep your discipline when the emotions and the desire to take risks are being transmitted to the team from the stands.

"You then need to be careful that you don't open up too early and that the gaps don't become too big."

Terzic responded to Sane's 53rd-minute strike by bringing on substitutes Karim Adeyemi, Modeste and Thorgan Hazard in an effort to save the game.

"It got wild towards the end; that was also the aim of the substitutions," Terzic said. "It was end to end.

"What was very positive was that we believed up until the last moment that something was still possible, even though we'd missed a huge opportunity to equalise in the 82nd minute."

Modeste scuffed his shot from Adeyemi's cross on that occasion, but after Bayern went down to 10 men, losing Kingsley Coman for a second bookable offence when he tugged at Adeyemi, there was a final twist to come.

"It was a very deserved point because we created many chances at the end," Terzic said. "When you're 2-0 down against Bayern, the match normally ends 4-0 or 5-0.

"That didn't happen today. We were able to put an exclamation mark behind the mentality question for today."

Bayern Munich head coach Julian Nagelsmann believes Jude Bellingham should have been sent off in the 2-2 Der Klassiker draw against Borussia Dortmund.

Nagelsmann's side went into a two-goal lead after strikes from Leon Goretzka and Leroy Sane, but a late comeback changed the course of the game, with Youssoufa Moukoko and a last-minute Anthony Modeste header levelling for the hosts.

The game could have been different, however, had Bellingham been shown a red card for a challenge on Alphonso Davies that left the Bayern defender with a suspected concussion.

Bellingham was not booked for the foul, where a high boot struck the head of the Canada international, and Nagelsmann believes the wrong action was taken – where a yellow would have been his second of the game, resulting in a dismissal.

"He hits him in the face. The rules are clear. There is a suspicion of a concussion. That's not surprising given the kick in the face," he told Sky.

"Four months ago, we had a training course. They told us that a kick in the face is a red."

For years Robert Lewandowski was the main draw of Der Klassiker, then Erling Haaland joined him as Germany's biggest fixture became stylised as a shootout between arguably the world's finest number nines.

Of course, both players departed in pre-season meaning the build-up to Saturday's instalment needed two new poster boys.

And boys they are.

Jamal Musiala's exceptional start to the season has seen his already significant stock rise, while Jude Bellingham has elevated himself to become undroppable for BVB and almost similarly important at international level.

As it happened, Bellingham ended up being upstaged by the even younger Youssoufa Moukoko as the game became something of a 'Kids' Klassiker' – though it was ultimately 34-year-old Anthony Modeste who stole the limelight at the end of an eventually gripping 2-2 draw at Signal Iduna Park.

Frankly, though, it was difficult to rave about almost anyone during a rather frantic and chaotic first half that was sorely lacking quality.

 

Players seemed to be frequently miscontrolling the ball, falling over or bumping into each other. Scrappy, frustrating and largely devoid of goal-mouth action, it certainly wasn't what many a neutral might be accustomed to when watching the Klassiker.

At the break, Dortmund had accumulated just 0.47 expected goals (xG), while Bayern's was 0.09. Though perhaps typifying their historical ruthlessness, it was enough to give Die Roten a 1-0 lead at the interval.

Julian Nagelsmann will have felt particularly content in that regard given Bayern were unbeaten in their previous 72 Bundesliga games when leading at the break, and he'll have no doubt enjoyed seeing Musiala at the centre of things having channelled Pep Guardiola when calling him a "top-top-top player" pre-game.

The young forward was one of Bayern's brighter players in the first period and he more than played a part as the visitors opened the scoring.

He peeled into the left side of the box to receive the ball before showing admirable poise and composure to cut inside and tee up Leon Goretzka on the edge of the box, with the midfielder drilling into the bottom-left corner.

That took Musiala to nine Bundesliga goal involvements for the season, a figure bettered only by Niclas Fullkrug (10).

Those hoping for effectively a straight battle between Musiala and his former England youth colleague Bellingham will have been disappointed.

After a harsh early booking – for what appeared a fair albeit strong challenge on Musiala – the Dortmund talent struggled to impose himself as a creative influence and could even be accused of trying a little too hard in the second half, as he attempted to beat his man a second time in the area instead of feeding a team-mate when BVB caught Bayern on the break.

A few seconds later, he needlessly passed the ball out of play just outside his own area as Bayern players began to circle, with the 19-year-old – who by this point was wearing the captain's armband – subsequently showing frustration in his reaction.

On the other side of the 'Kids' Klassiker' battle, a few moments earlier Musiala had enjoyed another moment of decisiveness – if we can call it that. He broke behind the Dortmund midfield and played a pass that was nudged on by a defender to Leroy Sane, whose long-range strike found its way in even though Alexander Meyer got a firm hand to it.

 

Despite Musiala's clear impact, Moukoko had a claim to being the Klassiker's standout youngster on the day. The 17-year-old's decision-making may not have been perfect, but he worked tirelessly up front, his constant harrying and hassling kept the Bayern backline under pressure – his three tackles was second only to Emre Can (five) in the Dortmund team.

He then got Dortmund back in contention with an excellent finish. Modeste's pass into the centre of the box was ever so slightly behind Moukoko, but he still managed to get enough power to strike past Manuel Neuer despite the needing to dig the ball out from himself a little.

Modeste then went from provider to finisher with the last kick (header) of the game, nodding Nico Schlotterbeck's cross in at the far post as Dortmund piled on the pressure in stoppage time, sparking pandemonium in the stands and on the pitch – Bellingham's scream into the close-up camera presumably causing a few viewers to subconsciously jump out of their seats.

To be fair, there were few bums on seats in the Yellow Wall behind the Bayern goal as Modeste tucked his header away, with the Frenchman's double impact proving that, even around all the potential in the world, there's always space for good old experience and nous.

 

A remarkable late comeback saw Borussia Dortmund recover from a two-goal deficit to draw 2-2 with Bayern Munich, with Anthony Modeste equalising with the last kick of the game.

Leon Goretzka and Leroy Sane struck from long range either side of the interval to put Bayern in cruise control, the hosts unable to offer much of an attacking threat.

Youssoufa Moukoko sparked hope for Dortmund when he pulled one back and Modeste missed a golden opportunity from close range that appeared to condemn Edin Terzic's side to a ninth consecutive defeat in Der Klassiker.

But Kingsley Coman received a late red card and Modeste then redeemed himself in the most dramatic fashion, heading home Nico Schlotterbeck's cross to send Signal Iduna Park wild.

 

 

Thomas Muller will not feature when Bayern Munich meet Borussia Dortmund on Saturday after continuing to suffer from COVID-19 symptoms, Julian Nagelsmann has revealed.

Joshua Kimmich, however, is in contention to return after recovering from the virus, as Bayern bid for a ninth consecutive win over their rivals.

Muller and Kimmich missed Tuesday's 5-0 Champions League win over Viktoria Plzen after testing positive for the virus last week, but both players have now returned negative tests.

However, Nagelsmann revealed on Friday that Muller was still experiencing symptoms and would miss the trip to BVB, although he was more positive regarding Kimmich's chances.

"Though they have both tested negative, Thomas Muller still has some cold symptoms, so he won't be in the squad," Nagelsmann said.

"Joshua Kimmich, everything looks good. He has no symptoms, he was asymptomatic the whole time. 

"He'll travel with the squad and then we'll see how far off he is after five days on the sidelines, whether he can feature in the starting lineup.

"It's a special game and that might mean there are special circumstances, but we'll see how training goes and how he feels.

"At the end of the day, both are now free from the constraints, which is good news."

With surprise packages Union Berlin and Freiburg setting the pace at the Bundesliga summit, Saturday's game will represent the first time in 13 years that neither Bayern or Dortmund has topped the league table ahead of a head-to-head meeting.

Though Dortmund's eight-match losing streak against Bayern is their joint- longest against any opponent in their history, Nagelsmann is wary of the threat posed by Edin Terzic's men. 

"They have made some good signings and have put together a strong team," he added. "Overall, I think they are having a solid season.

"They are a tough opponent and it will definitely be a good game. They're going to be a top opponent and it will be a really good game.

"We want to win more than anything. Dortmund like to defend deep and remain compact while waiting for opportunities to counter. They always have a clear shape when they counter.

"There's not really any sense of extra anticipation or tension, the preparations are the same. We don't want to let the tension come in too early, because if it comes too early, it can be hard to carry through."

Saturday's match will also see two of Europe's most highly rated prospects go head-to-head, as Bayern and Germany creator Jamal Musiala faces in-form England midfielder Jude Bellingham.

Nagelsmann praised both players as he hailed Musiala's development before adding: "Bellingham is having a very good season, he's very active, a different player to Jamal.

"He's more of a box-to-box player. With Jamal, it's all about the danger he can pose in front of goal, the passes he can play, and we're very happy that we have him.

"He has developed really well. He also developed well last season but didn't really hit that top level. Now, we're starting to see him do that.

"They both also have good standings in their national teams as well, so I think we can all enjoy the fact they are in the Bundesliga." 

Lautaro Martinez's agent Alejandro Camano is not surprised by reports linking the Inter forward with Bayern Munich, insisting the Argentine is one of the world's top 10 players.

Martinez scored 21 goals in 35 league outings as Inter finished as Serie A runners-up last season, and has begun the new campaign with three strikes in eight top-flight appearances.

With Bayern struggling in the Bundesliga after opting against signing a direct replacement for Robert Lewandowski in the recent transfer window, the Bavarian giants have been touted as potential suitors for Martinez.

Camano told TyC Sports such interest does not come as a surprise and revealed the 25-year-old rejected transfer offers in the latest window in order to focus on Inter.

"I wouldn't be surprised because there are always requests, but Lautaro has very clear ideas," he said about the Bayern reports.

"Today he thinks about Inter and the World Cup.

"In the last market there were possibilities to leave for impressive figures, but he has understood that it was better not to change.

"Lautaro is among the top 10 players in the world, and although I have many calls, he has two priorities by the end of the year: Inter and the national team. 

"He is mature, with a nice family to accompany him, with an atmosphere of tranquillity, which is always important. He feels loved by Italians and Argentines.

"He started the year with a beautiful project, with an Inter that was built in a powerful way. The truth is that winning the World Cup would be the icing on the cake for him."

Alongside the likes of Lionel Messi and Angel Di Maria, Martinez has impressed in a fluid Argentina attack recently, with Lionel Scaloni leading his side to a 35-match unbeaten run.

Argentina are just two games short of matching Italy's record 37-match unbeaten run in international football, and Camano believes they will be serious contenders at the World Cup.

"Not only are Argentina a candidate, but those of us who know Lionel Scaloni know that he has the same leadership mentality he had when he played," he added. 

"Lautaro's hope is the same as the others - they want to make people happy.

"Winning a World Cup is not easy, but the team is ready to reach this goal."

Bayern Munich CEO Oliver Kahn labelled Jude Bellingham "an excellent player" as he addressed speculation over a potential move for the Borussia Dortmund midfielder.

The England international has been tipped as the next of the Black and Yellow's young superstar breed to depart, following Erling Haaland's exit to Manchester City ahead of the current campaign.

A return to his native country and the Premier League has been heavily mooted, though Dortmund – who handed Bellingham the captaincy for their 3-2 loss to Koln over the weekend –hope he will yet remain.

But despite their admiration for the player, the 19-year-old will not be moving to the Bundesliga champions, with Kahn insisting they are already well-stocked for his position.

"Of course, I think Bellingham is an excellent player," Kahn told Sport Bild when asked if there would be any interest in a swoop for the teenager.

"But we've got Joshua Kimmich, Leon Goretzka, Ryan Gravenberch, Marcel Sabitzer. I can say we're well-equipped in that position. We're not worried about that at all."

Bellingham is anticipated to be a starting member of Gareth Southgate's Three Lions squad at the Qatar 2022 World Cup, having been a member of their Euro 2020 party which finished as runners-up.

News that City midfielder Kalvin Phillips, a mainstay of the England midfielder, will undergo shoulder surgery has cast doubt on his place, with Bellingham having deputised during the September international break.

Julian Nagelsmann feels Bayern Munich's resounding 5-0 win over Viktoria Plzen was "another step in the right direction" for his side ahead of facing Borussia Dortmund.

Bayern followed up Friday's 4-0 Bundesliga thrashing of Bayer Leverkusen with an even more emphatic victory in Tuesday's Champions League tie with Czech champions Plzen.

It marks the first time the Bavarians have won back-to-back matches in all competitions since August, having gone four league games without a win prior to the international break.

Nagelsmann is pleased with what he saw from his side against Plzen, with Bayern returning to form at just the right time ahead of Saturday's Klassiker showdown with fierce rivals Dortmund.

"The boys did well today," Nagelsmann told DAZN. "That's how you have to approach a game. We decided it quickly then controlled it. 

"With a view to Saturday, that was important, serious and well deserved. It was another game that shows we are taking steps in the right direction."

 

The hosts were three goals up inside 21 minutes, with Serge Gnabry and Sadio Mane netting after Leroy Sane had opened the scoring at the Allianz Arena.

Sane doubled his tally early in the second half before substitute Eric Choupo-Moting rounded off the scoring for the leaders in a one-sided Group C contest.

It is the 26th time Bayern have scored five or more goals in a Champions League match, which is five more than next-best Barcelona.

Mane wasted some promising chances to add to the scoring, netting from just one of his six attempts, but the forward was happy with his side's performance.

"The team played a great game, with a lot of chances created," he said. "We deserved to win. 

"The past few weeks have been tough. It was important we reacted. We reacted well after the international break. Hopefully we can continue like this until the end of the season.

"We have nine points from three Champions League games and a good goal difference. We are in a good place. 

"We were disciplined today. We were well prepared for the opponent and that's where most of the goals came from."

Bayern have now gone 31 games without defeat in the group stage of the Champions League, overtaking the record of 30 set by Real Madrid in 2017.

"We rightly received criticism during the international break," said Leon Goretzka, who set up two of the goals against Plzen.

"We used the time well and focused on our game again. Our aim is to perform on a regular basis. We're still extremely upset about the games before that."

Julian Nagelsmann may shuffle his pack for Bayern Munich's Champions League game against Viktoria Plzen on Tuesday, with the depleted Bavarians set to host Borussia Dortmund four days later.

Bayern have started their Champions League campaign with back-to-back wins over Inter and Barcelona, and lead the duo by three points at the top of Group C.

Should they record another European win at the Allianz Arena next time out, Bayern will have won their first three Champions League matches for a fourth season in succession.

On the domestic stage, however, Bayern trail surprise pace-setters Union Berlin and Freiburg after an inconsistent run of results, and host rivals Dortmund on Saturday.

With Thomas Muller and Joshua Kimmich set to miss the Plzen match after contracting COVID-19, Nagelsmann is aware of the need to manage his squad.

"We need to rotate because of Joshua and Thomas, so there are different ways, there are so many options," Nagelsmann said at his pre-match press conference.

"You'll see tomorrow which I decide. We're still in a situation where we need to grab points. 

"It's important for the Champions League to win the game against Plzen, and also to keep the rhythm for the game against Dortmund, where there might be more pressure than in the Champions League.

"Plzen like to play defensively and counter-attack, and that could be a challenge. We'll try to get into our optimum phase considering what is still ahead."

Bayern have been heavily impacted by COVID-19 recently, with Manuel Neuer and Leon Goretzka withdrawing from the Germany squad after contracting the virus last month.

Nagelsmann offered a positive update on the conditions of Muller and Kimmich, and hopes to have them back after Tuesday's match, adding: "Thomas and Joshua don't have any symptoms, they're doing well. Of course, they would love to play, but nothing has changed.

"We can do the tests on Friday and if those go well, they are candidates against Dortmund. It depends on the tests we will do.

"In general, the incidence is high in Munich so it's a factor that concerns us. We've talked with the players. 

"They've had the suggestion that they're not going to go to the Oktoberfest since the officials took part, so no partying there!

"Outside of the pitch, professional players are normal people. Everybody's looking after themselves."

Nagelsmann also revealed Kingsley Coman will not feature against Plzen despite recovering from a muscle injury, but said Serge Gnabry had his full support if selected to start out wide.

"First of all, with Kingsley, he is doing well," Nagelsmann said. "He practiced well, he was great, but he's not going to be a part of tomorrow's game.

"We'll try to heighten that [his condition] in the next couple of days and then he's an option against Dortmund, but he's not going to start, that's for sure.

"He is doing well. I have good expectations that he can fill a position in the squad against Dortmund, it would be great to have him, and not so great for the opponent.

"I haven't decided 100 per cent, but Serge is certainly a candidate there. We have to see also what we will do against Dortmund, and what happens with Thomas.

"I've known Serge for ages and I think a lot of him. He doesn't worry too much on the field and plays freely. We have a good connection with each other."

Bayern Munich pair Thomas Muller and Joshua Kimmich have gone into isolation after testing positive to COVID-19.

The German champions announced the news on Saturday, with Muller and Kimmich having both been in the starting XI for Friday's 4-0 Bundesliga win over Bayer Leverkusen.

Bayern said the pair had tested positive on Saturday, were asymptomatic, doing well and isolating at their respective homes.

The Bundesliga outfit are due to face Czech club Viktoria Plzen in the Champions League at Allianz Arena on Tuesday.

The positive tests come after Bayern pair Manuel Neuer and Leon Goretzka were withdrawn from Germany camp last week after their own infections.

Kimmich has started every game in all competitions this season for Bayern, netting two goals and providing four assists.

Muller has started all bar one of Bayern's games in all competitions, scoring twice and providing four assists.

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