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With Bayern Star Ribéry, Telling the Future Whisker by Whisker

  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    French soccer player Franck Ribéry has grown a beard and a columnist considers what it is all about.

  • Facts


    • Franck Ribery is one Bayern Munich’s highest-paid players and a productive goal scorer.
    • The Frenchman rose from docker to become one of the best soccer players in France.
    • Mr. Ribery, popular among Bayern Munich fans, was prevented by injury from playing for France in the World Cup.
  • Audio


  • Pdf

Franck Ribery playing for the French national team at a 2013 match against Belarus. Source DPA


Sports stars worldwide all suffer the same way, constantly being watched by the media, ever lurking, ever suspicious.

It’s no different for Frank Ribéry, a French soccer player. Year in, year out, he had to tell the story of how he got the scar on his face, from a childhood car accident.

And now it’s all about his new beard which he grew while recovering from a more recent injury.

What’s that about?

Is it a sign of discontent because he wasn’t able to play during the soccer World Cup? Is the beard like a flag flown at half-mast mourning France’s poor performance in the tournament? Could it be an admission of guilt that Mr. Ribéry’s absence may have had something to do with his country’s football failures? Or is it a sign that this powerful energetic man has calmed down and is on his way to becoming a hermit?

These are big questions and they all lead to one bigger question, namely what makes a man grow a beard?

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