Franck Ribery has stated his belief that Bayern Munich are a better side than Real Madrid and Barcelona.
The 29-year-old winger has developed into a key player at the Allianz Arena since joining the Bundesliga outfit from Olympique de Marseille in 2007 in a €25 million deal.
His performances for Bayern caught the eye of Madrid in the summer of 2009, but the German club rejected all offers for the Frenchman.
Ribery has now declared that he does not regret that a transfer to Spain did not come to fruition, telling Sport Bild: “There was a time when I would have been drawn towards Barcelona and Real Madrid.
“But that is over. Bayern are at the same level as Barca and Real Madrid, and I think that if you look at the complete package, then Bayern are even better.”
Jupp Heynckes’s side enter the new season looking to claim the Bundesliga title which they lost to Borussia Dortmund in the last two campaigns, and Ribery acknowledged his side’s status as favourites.
“We are the team with the biggest potential in Germany,” he explained. “Therefore, it should be clear to all that winning the Bundesliga is a must this season.
“Dortmund certainly have a good team and have developed into a rival that should be taken seriously. But I believe we have a better squad.”
The France international then repeated that he plans to retire at Bayern as he enters his sixth season at the German outfit.
“In my mind, that is clear,” Ribery continued. “You should listen to what my wife said in France about the city of Munich and this club. She is excited.
“I see myself retiring at Bayern. I am convinced that I could not be happier anywhere else.”
Ribery was also asked about his dressing room bust-up with team-mate Arjen Robben in April, which ended with the Dutchman getting a bruise on his face after the duo came to blows.
“That was wrong,” he noted. “We express ourselves and draw the right conclusion.
“It does not matter who takes the free kick or who gets the assist. At the end of the game, we want the three points.
“This is not FC Robben or FC Ribery. This is FC Bayern. We have to put all of our egos together to be successful as a team.
“A little aggression is often crucial. It makes the difference on the pitch. Opponents must feel that you are ready to do everything to be successful. I know it is up to players like me to take more responsibility.”