Old Boys Ribéry & Robben Missed Their Chance for China Move According to SIPG Sporting Director

Saturday July 29th, 2017

Previously described as a "Ferrari" by Bayern Munich manager Carlo Ancelotti, Franck Ribéry is now being deemed as too old to play in the Chinese Super League. Ribéry (34) and his Bayern teammate Arjen Robben (33) are both veterans of the game, however, they are too old to make the move to China according to Shanghai SIPG sporting director Mads Davidsen.

The two forwards showed last season that when fit they still have what it takes to perform at the highest level. Despite this, former Guangzhou R&F video analyst Davidsen believes that the importance of signing players like the Bayern duo is a myth of the Chinese Super League, as reported by BILD.

"It’s a misconception that makes me really angry when players in Europe believe they can freely choose the time to move to China," said 34-year-old Davidsen. "This was the situation three or four years ago but those times are over. 

"If Ribery had an offer two or three years ago from China then that was his chance, but an ambitious Chinese team like Shanghai SIPG wouldn’t sign him or Robben now. Why should a Chinese club sign a 33 or 34-year-old when they can get 27-year-old stars like Axel Witsel or Alex Teixeira - or Oscar at 25?"

Without a doubt two of the most dangerous wingers of all time, Ribéry and Robben will certainly have the opportunity to make Davidsen eat his words next season. Although the possibility of a starting spot in the Bayern Munich side for both players is unlikely, when both are match fit the aptly named partnership of 'Robbery' will still cause major problems for the rest of the Bundesliga next season.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide—from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Andy Staples, Grant Wahl, and more—delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.