England’s quarter-final against France takes place on Saturday, with the Three Lions looking to knock out the current World Cup holders.
The last meeting between the two teams came in Paris in 2017, a friendly which France won 3-2.
Manchester United’s Tom Heaton and Phil Jones were in the England starting XI – while for France, one current Red Devils player had a game he would rather forget.
Raphael Varane had a historic day – for all the wrong reasons…
Last time England played France
Raphael Varane hit a moment of notoriety when he was sent off for a foul on Dele Alli just 34 seconds into the second half.
The referee had awarded a yellow card to Varane, before VAR intervened, and upgraded the decision to a red card.
This match was the first ever England game to feature VAR. France boss Didier Deschamps told BBC Sport after the game that the red card ‘was quite harsh’.
Varane became the first France player sent off in a friendly match in 21 years at the time, following Franck Leboeuf’s red card in 1996.
He judged to be the last man by the video officials. The defender was a Real Madrid player at the time, going on to win the World Cup and Champions League 12 months later.
Varane later clinched a £34 million move to Manchester United in 2021, and is looking to win back to back World Cups.
This time he will need better fortune from the officials – and there is good cause for him to look back on this sending off as particularly unlucky.
The incident was Varane’s one and only red card for France in 90 matches. Statistically he is more likely to score, with five goals for France in those appearances.
Dan is still wondering what would have happened if United had kept Juan Veron…