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Wednesday September 4, 2013 MYT 5:07:01 AM
Wednesday September 4, 2013 MYT 5:07:21 AM
by gregory blachier
France's national soccer team players Karim Benzema (L) and Franck Ribery (L) stretch during a training session in Clairefontaine, near Paris, September 2, 2013. REUTERS/Jacky Naegelen
PARIS (Reuters) - France should forget the pressure and be daring like Bayern Munich if they want to improve their chances of qualifying for the World Cup, Franck Ribery said on Tuesday.
Les Bleus have not found the net in their last four games and are second in World Cup qualifying Group I, one point behind Spain.
They visit Georgia on Friday and Belarus four days later.
Ribery, who was voted UEFA player of the year last week, said his team mates lacked confidence, but could find inspiration in the more spontaneous and straightforward playing style of his club side Bayern.
"What I've been living at Bayern is completely different. At Bayern, we never ask ourselves questions," he told a news conference at France's training facility in Clairefontaine.
"With France, when a player misses, he loses confidence, he is afraid of being criticised," he said. "But we'll try to make everyone regain confidence, lift the pressure."
Ribery, who is one of France's most experienced players, also hinted there was less quality in their squad since the international retirement of big-name players like Thierry Henry.
"Maybe we just don't have the same kind of players. We all know the quality of the Bayern players. France have a lot of new players, some have come and gone, some have been injured, some have played less with their club," he said.
"I noticed that in Belgium," he added, referring to last month's 0-0 friendly draw.
"I sometimes had to tell players not to try a three-metre pass but a 10 or 15-metre pass, to break through the defence, to put some speed in our play," he said.
"There are some things that we don't do, that we don't dare doing like long crosses, while at Bayern, these are just automatic things," he added.
Having been a key player at Bayern, for whom he scored 11 goals and created many more last season, Ribery hopes he will lead France to the World Cup and boost his chances of another individual award in the process.
"Of course, I believe in my chances," he said, when asked if he could win FIFA's world player of the year.
"Last season, I did everything possible on and off the pitch, I won four trophies. I'm having fun at Bayern and the most important thing is to continue doing what I've done."
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