Franck Ribery has opened up about the facial scars that gave him ‘character’ and ‘strength’ throughout his career in football.
In years gone by, the 36-year-old has spoken publicly about the trauma on a number of occasions, and in an emotional interview with Canal+ Sport last year, the player revealed how he dealt with the pain from childhood.
If you haven’t heard the story before, Ribery suffered a serious head wound in a car accident at the age of two.
He was rushed to hospital and required 100 stitches after the crash in his hometown of Boulogne-sur-Mer, France.
According to Yahoo, he wasn’t wearing a seat belt, which sent him crashing through the vehicle’s windshield.
Throughout his childhood, people would stare and point at Ribery in the street, saying how ‘ugly’ the scars were.
But as we mentioned earlier, the French winger took a positive outlook on his situation.
“People would say: ‘Look what he has on his face, look at his head. What is this scar? It’s so ugly.’ Wherever I went, people would look at me.” he told Canal+ Sport.
“And not because I was a good person or because my name is Franck or was a good footballer, but because of the scar.
“They gave me character and this strength. Because, when you are a child and you have a scar like this, it’s not easy. The way people see you, the comments – my family suffered for this.
“The people who talk about you are the parents (of other children), and this is very cruel. I never went to a corner and cried, despite suffering.”
Ribery, who plays for Serie A side Fiorentina, also claimed in Simon Kuper’s book The Football Men: Up Close with the Giants of the Modern Game, that the incident motivated him at a young age:
“The problem was that I was sitting in the back and I went flying forward on impact.
“In a certain way this accident helped me. As a child, it motivated me.” he said.
“God gave me this difference. The scars are part of me, and people will just have to take me the way I am.”