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Lyon 20:00 Marseille

Ribery explains French switch

By Alp Ayhan.   Last Updated: 22/06/05 9:58pm

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Franck Ribery has spoken about his infamous transfer to Marseille from Galatasaray.

The Turkish outfit have alleged they were put ‚é¼2 million out of pocket after Marseille secured the services of the talented Frenchman.

However, the player claims that he received only one payment from the club since his arrival during the winter transfer window.

Ribery has also confirmed that he was threatened with a baseball bat by his former agent and a Galatasaray director.

"I got a small section of what I was owed in February and nothing more since,'' Ribery told NTV.

''No wages and not even a bonus. Galatasaray has many problems.

"After I agreed to move to Marseilles, I was told that Galatasaray wanted to pay me what they owe me, but I'd lost total trust in that club."

The former Young French Player of the Year also said the news of his former agent John Bico, Galatasaray director Bulent Tulun and businessman Haim Fresco coming to his house and threatening him with a baseball bat is true.

"Bulent Tulun from the Galatasaray board and Haim Fresco came to my house here in France with John Bico. I haven't been working with Bico for six months now,'' continued Ribery.

''They all knew that my new agent is Bruno Heiderscheid. I was at home with my family and I didn't want to talk.

''I just said they should talk to my agent and my club from now on. Bico hit the window of my house and then said that if I don't open the door he will ruin my car with a baseball bat.

''They were next to my car. I called my lawyer and he told me not to do anything. I called the military police and made a complaint."

The speedy schemer - who earned the nickname Ferrari - says that despite all the troubles he has encountered in Turkey, he is still glad that he experienced life at Galatasaray.

Ribery concluded: "I didn't leave Galatasaray just because of money issues.

''My trust was lost and lies had a part to play. I did all I can to stay at Galatasaray before I signed for Marseilles.

''Despite not being paid we did all we can on the pitch for the fans and the club, but I couldn't carry on like that.

"I'm still happy to have played in Turkey and gotten to know the fans.

''People there represent their country and their clubs, they live for football. They liked me and accepted me and I'm upset at leaving."


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