FRANCK RIBERY

Born: April 7, 1983, in Boulogne-sur-Mer, France

Position: Winger

Nickname: Scarface

Clubs played for: The wily winger spent the first five years of his career bouncing between several French clubs - Boulogne, Ales, Stade Brestois and Metz - before making the move to Turkey in 2005. Ribery lasted less than a season with Istanbul outfit Galatasaray, returning to France later that year when he signed with Olympique Marseille. It was at L'OM that his career took off, gaining admirers from top clubs all across Europe, including German side Bayern Munich, which paid a transfer fee in excess of $41 million Cdn for the mercurial Frenchman.

International career: Ribery made his debut for France in a friendly against Mexico on May 27, 2006. A month later, he was a member of the French team that made it to the finals of the 2006 FIFA World Cup. Ribery also competed at Euro 2008 and scored goals in two games against Lithuania in the recent World Cup qualifiers.

Why is he so special? Ribery's quick feet and marksman-like ability to score goals at the perfect moment has made him one of the most dangerous players in the world today. 

His most famous moment: In a 2007 match versus Nantes, Ribery blasted a shot from 40 yards out that managed to find a flight path between the crossbar and the goalkeeper's gloves. If fans hadn't taken notice of Ribery's skill already, they were surely watching after that goal for Marseille.

He said it: "After everything that has happened to me, I take it all in quietly, but I am aware of the luck I have had."  (On persistent injuries that have plagued him during his career.)

What they're saying about him: "He's a player who's at the same level as [Lionel] Messi, [Thierry] Henry and [Samuel] Eto'o ... a player who can easily make a difference." - Eric Abidal, French national team teammate

Here's an interesting fact: Zinedine Zidane once famously called Ribery the "jewel of French football."