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Ribery ruled out of World Cup with back injury

ESPN staff
June 6, 2014
Franck Ribery will not add to his 80 France caps this summer © PA Photos

Franck Ribery has been ruled out of the World Cup for France after he aggravated a back injury in training.

Ribery had been expected to play a part in Brazil despite existing fitness troubles, with France assistant coach Guy Stephan saying that he was optimistic the winger would be fit.

However, France manager Didier Deschamps said that he had exacerbated the problem during Friday's training session and would not travel to Brazil.

"Franck had been feeling better," said Deschamps. "The increase in intensity worsened the situation. This is a sad day, but we need to recover and prepare for the final friendly."

The French Football Federation revealed that Lyon midfielder Clement Grenier would also miss the tournament after picking up a thigh problem in Thursday's training session. The pair will be replaced in the 23-man squad by Southampton's Morgan Schneiderlin and Montpellier's Remy Cabella.

Deschamps said he had made plans for replacing Ribery after testing out different options during the recent friendlies with Norway and Paraguay.

"We know what Franck is capable of [but] I have other players who played in the two friendly matches," he said. "I was prepared for this. There are other possibilities. This is not fixed, with the profiles of the different players. Concerning what I will do, the best options were Schneiderlin and Cabella."

Asked whether Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema could be positioned out on the left in Ribery's absence, he replied: "We will reflect on this. [Antoine] Griezmann and [Loic] Remy did well [in the friendlies]."

Deschamps admitted France's chances of success in Brazil would be hindered by the loss of a player who finished third in the voting for the 2013 Ballon d'Or.

"We have to be ambitious but, with Ribery at 100 percent, I can't deny that would be better," he said.

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