Franck Ribery is to take on a new challenge in Serie A at the age of 36, having agreed a deal to join Fiorentina.
The winger has signed for La Viola on a free transfer after leaving Bayern Munich at the end of last season.
Ribery enjoyed 12 hugely successful years in Munich but is excited by the prospect of playing for “a big team” in “a beautiful city”, while others of a similar age elect to wind down their careers on less high-profile shores. The former Marseille man says he spoke with ex-team-mate Luca Toni before accepting Fiorentina’s offer.
Below, we look at the Top 5 players to represent both Bayern and Fiorentina.
5. Franck Ribery
Winning 23 trophies in 12 seasons is remarkable by anyone’s standards, and it highlights just how important Ribery has been to Bayern’s restoration as the pre-eminent force in German football over the past decade.
The treble of 2012-13 was his crowning achievement and should, arguably, have seen him win the Ballon d’Or. Since then, injuries have begun to take their toll, and it is unclear just how effective the Frenchman will prove to be in Italy.
4. Stefan Effenberg
Bayern (again): 1998-2002
Although best known for his success at the heart of the midfield of Bayern – where he won three Bundesligas and the 2001 Champions League among nine trophies in total – Effenberg did spend two years in Tuscany.
Joining at the age of 24 after Lothar Matthaus had returned to Bayern to take his place, Effenberg endured a miserable first season as Fiorentina were relegated from Serie A. He helped them bounce straight back to the top flight as Serie B champions, though, before returning to Germany with Borussia Monchengladbach.