Raphael Varane: France defender retires from international football

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Raphael Varane of France looks at the World Cup trophy after the 2018 Fifa World Cup Final between France and Croatia at Luzhniki Stadium on July 15, 2018 in Moscow, Russia.
Varane won the World Cup with France in 2018

France and Manchester United centre-back Raphael Varane has announced his retirement from international football.

The 29-year-old, who won the World Cup in 2018, scored five goals in 93 appearances for his country after making his debut in 2013.

The last of his caps was won in the 2022 World Cup final, in which France were beaten by Argentina on penalties.

“Representing our great country for a decade has been one of the greatest honours of my life,” saidexternal-link Varane.

“Every time I wore this very special blue jersey I felt immense pride. The duty to give it all, play my heart out and win every time we put on the field.

“I’ve been contemplating this for several months and deciding it’s the right time for me to retire internationally.”

Varane, who signed for United from Real Madrid in August 2021, is the latest Les Bleus player to retire after the World Cup.

In January, Tottenham goalkeeper and captain Hugo Lloris stepped down three weeks after the final.

Varane had been expected to take over the French captaincy from Lloris.

“As a child, I remember following France 98, this team, these players who made us experience indescribable emotions,” said Varane.

“I dreamed of being our heroes and 20 years later I lived one of the best experiences of my life, one that made me really proud. We brought home the Cup!

“I will never forget it. I still feel every single one of the emotions felt on that day, July 15, 2018. That was one of the most amazing and memorable moments of my life.”

“I respect his decision even if it may seem a bit unfortunate given everything he was able to do with the national team through to the World Cup, during which he behaved like the leader we know he is from start to finish,” France coach Didier Deschamps said.


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