After Lloris and Mandanda, Varane concludes his international career
The defender of the French team has decided to draw a line under his adventure in the selection.
A new page is turning in the French team. After Hugo Lloris (36, 145 appearances) and Steve Mandanda (37, 35 appearances), it’s up to Raphaël Varane to end his career with the Blues. The 2018 world champion believes that the time has come to give way and give way to young people in a gaming sector with very strong competition (Upamecano, Konaté, Kimpembe, Fofana, Saliba, Disasi…). A real surprise for French football. And a real void to come when the former RC Lens or Real Madrid defender shone in the rooster’s shirt between 2013 and 2022.
At 29 years old (he will celebrate his 30th birthday on April 25), the vice-captain of the selection, who was in pole position to take back the armband abandoned by Hugo Lloris, announced his choice via a long message posted on Instagram. A result that now induces the high probability of giving the status of captain of the Blues to Kylian Mbappé while the return of the selection is scheduled for next March 24 against the Netherlands then three days later against Ireland in the Euro 2024 playoffs. A new adventure that will be written with Didier Deschamps, but without Raphaël Varane.
Read also“Unwavering honesty and commitment to the Azzurri”: Deschamps’ reaction to Varane’s international retirement
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Physical and mental wear and tear and the need to spend time with family
From the top of his 93 selections, Raphaël Varane is a monster in the history of the French team. He manages to look the legends of Lilian Thuram, Marcel Desailly and Laurent Blanc straight in the eye. Absent from Euro 2016 due to a thigh injury, but great architect of the planetary title acquired in Russia, the current Manchester United defender had the qualities and experience to write a new page in the Blues. But the latter, physically exhausted (in recent months he has had a series of injuries) and psychologically from the succession of matches and eager to spend more time with his family, did not feel able to continue with the selection for these reasons.
Read alsoHugo Lloris, a very discreet hero’s farewell to the Blues
Lloris’ interruption shocked the entire Blues dressing room
Another element to take into consideration: the generational change arriving in the French team. Like many Blues executives, Raphaël Varane was shocked by the arrests of Hugo Lloris and Steve Mandanda, with whom he was close in the French dressing room. While Olivier Giroud wonders a lot about his international future, the prospect of evolving with new players, but above all without his friends, alongside Clairefontaine or during international competitions, also weighed.
One World Cup, four Champions Leagues… A gigantic record
Unveiled at RC Lens where he made his mark, Varane especially exploded during his move to Real Madrid in July 2011, when he was just 18 years old. Seduced by the call of Zinédine Zidane, the defender has made a name for himself within the biggest club in the world, notably by winning four Champions Leagues (2014, 2016, 2017, 2018), four Club World Cups (2014, 2016, 2017 , 2018), not to mention the three Spanish league titles (2012, 2017 and 2020) and of course the World Cup with France, or the Nations League in 2021. Wherever he went, the former Lensois excelled and this is also confirmed in England on the Manchester United team, a legendary institution he joined in August 2021. He is the manager in defense and no one else. A player from the past, always on his feet, clean, with class. The numbers prove it. During his 93 selections, he has collected only three yellow cards and … no expulsions. Colossal.
In the selection, Raphaël Varane, as precious and regular on the pitch as he is discreet and unifying once the cameras are cut, will leave the image of a popular boy and a historic player. Far from trivial if Didier Deschamps had entrusted him with the status of vice-captain of the Blues and that he was counting on him for the post-Lloris. Respected by all generations in the locker room, as expert as few defenders today, the 2018 world champion prefers to leave a selection that brought him to the hearts of the French at the top. Forever. For an exit in full glory, despite the defeat in the World Cup final against Argentina (3-3, 2 penalties to 4) on 18 December. A magnificent and historical page of the French team turns. For everlasting memories.