Bayern Munich winger Franck Ribery has revealed could have moved to Real Madrid in 2009 but for his current employers telling him to stay as he was their very own Leo Messi.
The former France international, 32, was subject of interest from Real Madrid, who wanted to take advantage of his falling out with then Bayern boss Louis Van Gaal to take him to the Santiago Bernabeu.
The winger says he is unsure whether any formal bid was made or what the figures discussed were for any transfer but he was aware of interest from the La Liga giants.
Speaking to online football website, Goal.com, RIbery said:”I had intensive talks with Uli Hoeness, who was still president back then, and chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.
‘They told me I should not go, how the club needed me, how I was as important for Bayern as Lionel Messi was for Barcelona. Real tried, they wanted me. I don’t know what price Bayern wanted them to pay. In the end I am happy how it ended.”
Real did carry out an important bit of business in the summer of 2009, signing Cristiano Ronaldo from Manchester United for 91 million euros. Ribery, meanwhile, has helped his side to success in the Bundesliga, German Cup and Champions League.