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Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Blues vice-captain Raphaël Varane announces his international retirement at 29

Manchester United central defender Raphaël Varane, the vice-captain of the Blues at the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, announced his international retirement on Thursday.

The central defender and vice-captain of the France team Raphaël Varane (93 selections in blue), world champion in 2018 and finalist of the World Cup-2022 in Qatar, announced Thursday his international retirement, at the age of 29.

“I’ve been thinking about it for several months, and I’ve decided it’s the right time for me to retire from international football,” the current Manchester United player, a Blues figure since 2013, wrote on Instagram.

The French team loses a third pillar of the tricolor locker room after the departure of captain Hugo Lloris and his lining in the cage Steve Mandanda, who both said goodbye to the selection last month.

Varane’s announcement is more surprising, insofar as he was applying to become the future captain of the Blues at the start of qualifying for Euro-2024 scheduled for the end of March. At 29, the former Real Madrid player stops his counter at 93 selections, ten years after his debut under the tricolor tunic, in March 2013.

“One of the greatest honors of my life”

“Representing our beautiful country for a decade has been one of the greatest honors of my life. Every time I have worn this special blue jersey, I have felt immense pride,” he wrote. in his message, where the reasons for his choice are not revealed.

In his text, the player trained in Lens looks back on his pride in having won the World Cup more than four years ago in Russia, against Croatia in the final (4-2).

“I will never forget it. I still feel every emotion I felt on that day, July 15, 2018. It was one of the greatest and most memorable moments of my life,” he says. .

After the final of the World Cup-2022 lost against Argentina (3-3 ap, 4-2 tab), on December 18, Varane had given no indication of his future in the France team. When announcing his choice Thursday, he thanked his coach Didier Deschamps and his staff, as well as the supporters.

“A certain emotion” for Deschamps

“I cannot turn this page without a certain emotion, given the ties we have forged since August 2012. Like Hugo Lloris, he will have been, barring injury, on all my lists”, paid tribute to Deschamps in a press release sent by the French Football Federation (FFF).

“I respect his decision even if it may seem regrettable in view of everything he was able to do with the selection until the World Cup during which he behaved, from start to finish, like the leader that the ‘we know,’ added Deschamps.”

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