One of the best players in the world, France winger Franck Ribéry, has been ruled out of the World Cup due to a back injury, according to France head coach Didier Deschamps, who was quoted in multiple reports today.
One of the three finalists for FIFA's Ballon d'Or in 2013, the 31-year-old Ribéry has been dealing with back issues all season for Bayern Munich, causing him to miss 9 of Bayern's last 18 Bundesliga matches.
Ribéry had been coming off an incredible 2012-13 season in which he was named Bundesliga Player of the Year and helped Bayern capture the UEFA Champions League title. He was named the best player of the 2012-13 Champions League, the 2013 UEFA Super Cup, and the 2013 FIFA Club World Cup.
Ribéry scored the opening goal in France's 3-1 win over Spain in the 2006 World Cup, the last time Spain were eliminated from a major championship, and has played in four major tournaments for Les Bleus.
Following the 2010 World Cup, he was suspended by the French Football Federation for three games for his role in the club's refusal to train, but rejoined the national team in 2011.
Another midfielder, Clément Grenier, who plays for Olympique Lyon, has also been ruled out of France's World Cup squad. Deschamps called in midfielders Rémy Cabella (Montpellier) and Morgan Schneiderlin (Southampton) to replace Ribéry and Grenier.
Franck Ribery & Clement Grenier have been ruled out of France's World Cup squad - Remy Cabella & Morgan Schneiderlin will replace them— InsideWorldFootball (@insidewldftball) June 6, 2014