Ribery, right, was a ringleader in the French camp and became the main target for French media [GALLO/GETTY]

Over nine months after France's poor showing at the 2010 Football World Cup, winger Franck Ribery has apologised to fans for his role in the failed campaign.

Ribery was banned for three matches for his perceived role as a ringleader in France's training-ground strike in South Africa, and was only recalled last week by coach Laurent Blanc for the first time since the tournament.

Before his first press conference since the World Cup, Ribery read a statement in which he explained how he "got it wrong in his behaviour as a footballer (during) a horrible 2010 from all points of view."

Apologetic

"I took the wrong roads, I lost myself," said Ribery.

The 28-year-old had a season to forget in 2009/2010 as he struggled with injury. Before the World Cup, the Bayern Munich player was embroiled in a sex scandal for allegedly soliciting an underage prostitute, Zahia Deharm.

Ribery says "in my private life, in my life as a football player, I messed up,'' adding "I hurt people who are very dear to me, I let down and even shocked many others.''

He was also banned for the Champions League final defeat to Inter Milan after being sent-off in the first leg of the semi-final against Lyon.

Things did not improve in South Africa at the World Cup and when France failed to qualify for the second round after finishing bottom of their group, Ribery was banned for his involvement in the player revolt after Nicolas Anelka was sent home.

Ribery also slammed the media for their treatment of him.

"There were things said by you which shocked me, I felt spitefulness and hounded," he said.

"It affected a lot of people. I did things which were maybe not always correct. The World Cup didn't go well, I wasn't good on the pitch, but at no time did I make decisions myself.

"In the bus, we were all there. We were 23, we all suffered together. Now I want to turn the page, I want to forget all that, the France jersey I always have it in my heart."

France play a Euro 2012 qualifier against Luxembourg on March 25 and a friendly against Croatia four days later.

Source: Agencies