Franck Ribery has revealed that Real Madrid had once attempted to sign him for a then-world record transfer between €65-70m in 2009.
Ribery’s impressive displays in the 2008/09 season saw him receive plenty of plaudits after providing Bayern with 14 goals and 19 assists in 36 appearances.
Therefore, the former France international entered the following year with his future under strong doubt despite Bayern Munich’s frequent attempts to shut down the rumours.
It was alleged that Manchester United, Chelsea, Inter Milan, Barcelona and Real Madrid were all keen to winning Ribery’s signature in the summer transfer window.
And now the 36-year-old has confirmed that Real had offered to pay between €65-70m for him in 2009.
“I remember the transfer time well,” Ribery told Bild.
“That was from 2009 to 2010, Bayern definitely didn’t want to let me go. Do you know what [Bayern president] Uli Hoeness said? ‘Barcelona have Messi, Real Madrid have Ronaldo. And we’ve got you.’
“That was crazy back then! Seven top clubs wanted to sign me. Juventus, Inter Milan, AC Milan, Chelsea, Real Madrid, Barcelona and Manchester United – all asked.”
Chelsea allegedly offered Bayern €80m along with defender Jose Bosingwa for Ribery in 2009.
“That’s been hot, just as it was with Real Madrid in the same year,” continued the Frenchman.
“Real wanted to pay €65-70 million. I really didn’t know: Should I stay or leave?”
Despite the flattering interest from Los Blancos, however, Ribery chose to remain at Bayern.
The winger, who will leave in the summer, is close to winning his ninth Bundesliga crown this season as long as Bayern avoid defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday.
A sixth DFB-Pokal cup is another possibility, with Niko Kovac’s side to take on RB Leipzig in the final on May 25 in Berlin.
A Champions League, UEFA Supercup, Club World Cup and four DFL Supercups have all come Ribery’s way at Bayern.
“It’s been one of the best decisions of my life to stay with Bayern. What happened in the aftermath, I couldn’t have imagined better. I have to say thank you to Uli Hoeness and my manager Alain Migliaccio again, it all went perfectly,” said Ribery.
After missing out on Ribery in 2009, Real instead forked out €94m to sign Ronaldo from Manchester United.