Serie A News: Franck Ribery says he didn't come to Italy to be Cristiano Ronaldo's 'rival'
What's the story?
In case you didn't know...
Ribery, who left Bayern Munich after a 12-year spell, joined Serie A outfit Fiorentina on a free transfer earlier this week. He signed a two-year deal with La Viola after reportedly being convinced to join the club by former teammate Luca Toni.
The Frenchman left behind a glittering career in Munich, having won a series of titles including nine Bundesliga titles, six German Cups and the 2013 Champions League.
The winger played alongside some of the best players in the business, including the likes of Thomas Muller, Philipp Lahm and Robert Lewandowski. He formed a lethal partnership with Arjen Robben, who also left the club and announced his retirement at the end of the previous season.
Fiorentina, who finished 16th in Serie A last season, have also signed Lazio midfielder Milan Badelj, Bologna’s Erick Pulgar, and Sassuolo full-back Pol Lirola with the hope of improving on their dismal finish last term.
The heart of the matter
Speaking at a conference, Ribery expressed his desire to emulate Francesco Totti and play until the age of 40 while insisting that he did not come to the Italian top-flight to be Ronaldo's rival.
The 36-year-old said (via Fox Sports Asia), "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."
The winger also highlighted his ambitions with the club and hopes he can help them finish in the top three. He said, "We have had a very long negotiation, but I am very happy to be here in Florence. 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."
Fiorentina will kick off their Serie A campaign by hosting Napoli on Saturday.