Franck Ribery says throwing away his Bayern Munich shirt was not a sign of disrespect.
Ribery hurled his jersey at the dugout after being replaced by Thomas Muller with 12 minutes left of the 3-0 Champions League win over Anderlecht at the Allianz Arena on Tuesday.
A clearly frustrated Ribery was criticised by German football legend Lothar Matthaus after the game, although Bayern’s head coach Carlo Ancelotti — who denied a rift with Ribery in May — played down the incident.
And the former France international responded to his critics via social media on Wednesday, insisting throwing the shirt was a show of his passion.
“I was always one of the honest and loyal players in this business,” Ribery posted on Instagram. “I have respect for the fans and for the club I love.
“Throwing my wet jersey yesterday night had nothing to do with disrespect or anything else people who believe or pretend to know me accuse me of.
“This wet jersey which I have worn for more than 10 years now and give my everything for, with all my impulsiveness and my will to win, with which we have achieved so much. Some people will never understand what it means to give everything for your club and I’m sorry for them.
“As long as I stand on the pitch I, Franck Ribery, will defend our colours and will play every game with all of my passion.”