A few days after the World Cup final in Qatar, footage of Raphael Varane in France’s dressing room emerged on social media. The footage, which showed the defender commanding the dressing room’s attention and giving a rousing speech to his teammates, quickly went viral and it only increased the calls to see Varane made club captain at Old Trafford, instead of Harry Maguire. Argentina defeated France on penalties in the final of the World Cup in Qatar and Varane played 113 minutes in that match. He collapsed to the floor in exhaustion when finally leaving the pitch in extra time and he returned to the bench knowing his body had given everything. Varane has always seemed to give everything when representing his club or country in his career. ALSO READ: Raphael Varane retires from international football with France Manchester United had two defenders, Varane and Lisandro Martinez, in the World Cup final and only one could win the trophy. It was Martinez that enjoyed victory, but the pair shared an embrace on the pitch after the full-time whistle regardless. Varane is a classy operator on and off the field and the leaked footage of his dressing room presence, his exhaustion in the final and his embrace with Martinez despite defeat highlighted the type of player the club were lucky to sign in August 2021. There is a school of thought that Real Madrid don’t allow elite players to leave the club and the suspicion was that Varane was too injury prone in his first season in Manchester, but he’s established himself as United’s finest centre-back this term. Varane has developed a formidable partnership with Martinez, helping his side record the joint most clean sheets (16) from Europe’s top five leagues, and his performances have been exceptional at the heart of Erik ten Hag’s defence. Although he’s been sidelined for 28 days with injury this season, that is a significant decrease from the time he was sidelined last year and he made a surprise announcement on Thursday that should improve his luck with injuries in the future. Varane won the 2018 World Cup with France (Image: Getty Images) That’s because, after a decade of service to his country France, Varane announced his retirement from international football with a heartfelt farewell, in which he wrote on social media: “Even after the defeat in the final last year, with certainly a great run, you welcomed us as heroes when we returned. To each and every one of you, a thousand times THANK YOU! “I will miss these moments with you for sure, but the time has come for the new generation to take over. We have a group of talented young players who are ready to take over, who deserve a chance and who need you.” Varane won the World Cup in Russia in 2018 and he’s made a total of 93 caps for his country, some of which he wore the captain’s armband in, whilst he also started in France’s major final defeats at Euro 2016 and most recently at the World Cup in Qatar. He has been a colossus in defence for France, but his retirement from international football allows him to prioritise United and the decision will also allow him to spend more time with his family and his two young children, Ruben and Anai The player has retired from France duty aged just 29 years old and it’s undoubtedly a positive for Ten Hag that his best defender will be rested during the international break, especially considering his previous history with injury. Varane is currently in his prime years and he’s contracted at Old Trafford until 2025. Without the added commitment of playing for France, the centre-back will be completely focused on United and that has the potential to be huge. He is a serial winner and he’ll be hoping to win multiple trophies before the end of his contract at United. READ NEXT: Ten Hag explains why he signed Sabitzer United fans have given Sancho something he must repay this season United player ratings vs Forest United show right mentality with full-time reaction vs Forest All the United news and views Story SavedYou can find this story in My Bookmarks.Or by navigating to the user icon in the top right.
Raphael Varane changed his Manchester United future with emotional announcement
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