Berlin - French football star Franck Ribery on Saturday launched a foul-mouthed response after he was criticised for eating a gold-coated steak, telling his critics: "I will spend my money how I like".
On Thursday, the 35-year-old Bayern Munich player had posted a video on social media of a visit to a steakhouse owned by celebrity Turkish chef Salt Bae and rubbing his hands before tucking into a huge chop coated in gold.
That ostentatious luxury drew ferocious criticism before Ribery -- who earns an estimated eight million euros a year with the German champions -- hit back.
"Let's start with the envious, the angry, surely born because of a broken condom," read the first of the posts on Ribery's Twitter account. "F*ck your mothers, your grandmothers and your whole family tree," wrote Ribery, having taken care to sanitise the French word "n*quez".
"I owe you nothing, my success is above all thanks to God," the post continued. "To me, to my relatives and to those who believed in me, for the others, you were only pebbles in my socks."
German tabloid Bild reported that the meal was in Dubai where Salt Bae owns the Nusr-Et restaurant.
Golden steak, coated in 24-carat gold, is one of Salt Bae's signature dishes.
Bild reported that the steak cost 1,200 euros. Ribery's supporters said the tabloid had misread the currency on the menu.
Contacted by AFP, the restaurant did not comment on Ribery but said that it's most expensive "golden steak" costs 2,000 Emirati dirhams, or €478.
Later Saturday, Bayern said that while they did not condone Ribery's words, the issue was a "private matter".
In his second Tweet, Ribery castigated "pseudo-journalists" who are always "negative".
One of the journalists who had criticised Ribery was Audrey Pulvar, a celebrity in France and president of the charitable Nicolas Hulot foundation.
She had Tweeted "Mr. @FranckRibery if you do not know what to do with your money, there are plenty of causes to fund and support, worldwide."
Ribery's third Tweet on Saturday showed Pulvar wearing a pair of glasses that he said cost €3,000 euros and said: "I do what I want with my money."
"When I donate (because I was taught to give when I earn a lot...) Why does not a major national media broadcast that? No, you prefer to talk about the holidays that I go on with my family, you scrutinise my actions, what I eat, etc!" Ribery wrote.
Ummah Charity, an "international humanitarian aid organisation" based in suburban Paris tweeted: "Without any intention to justify anything, we confirm that @FranckRibery is one of our most generous donors. Thanks to him and his wife who spend lavishly to finance our humanitarian activities..."
Bayern, where Ribery is reportedly in his last season, are holding a winter training camp in Qatar.
In November, Ribery insulted and attacked a Patrick Guillou, a former player who is now a pundit on French TV, after a match in Dortmund. Bayern made Ribery post a video apology on the club web site.
No better way to start the year than with a dash of salt and a visit to my Turkish brother ???????? #SaltBae #fr7?? #ELHAMDOULILLAH????♥? pic.twitter.com/O5ztj4mueq— Franck Ribéry (@FranckRibery) January 3, 2019 ">