Raphaël Varane Joined Karim Benzema and Hugo Lloris in International Retirement from France (1)

Raphaël Varane Joined Karim Benzema and Hugo Lloris in International Retirement from France

France’s route to the 2022 FIFA World Cup final in Qatar was full of turmoil and obstacles, when multiple injuries landed on its players, especially those who were picked to win it all four years ago in Russia. The wounded Les Bleus members included Karim Benzema, N’Golo Kanté, Paul Pogba, Christopher Nkunku, Presnel Kimpembe, etc.; The then defending world champion also lost their starting left-back Lucas Hernandez during the tournament and had an outbreak of flu spread across Didier Deschamps’s side right before the final against the eventual winner Argentina.

The aftermath of France’s failed title defence campaign was clouded with more dejections as several star players had decided to retire from the national team, with Manchester United’s Raphaël Varane joining Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema and Tottenham Hotspur’s Hugo Lloris as the latest footballer to retire internationally from Les Bleus. Absence from these players for future tournaments and matches will certainly give a headache to 54-year-old Deschamps, as he looks to prepare France for a few more major competitions, following his contract extension with the national team till 2026.

Is Varane France’s Best Ever Centre-Back?

The Lille-born centre-back is turning 30 this year and made his international debut back in 2013. Since then, Varane made 93 appearances and scored five goals for his country, capturing honours such as the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, 2020/2021 UEFA Nations League in Italy and a runner-up finish in the recent 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. Is is worth mentioning that the defender was on the verge of missing the latest edition of the FIFA World Cup, when he picked up a serious injury during his club duties with Premier League giant Manchester United. And fitness level, for the past few years, had been an issue for the player, and was one of the factors that prompted him to make such a decision.

Raphaël Varane released an emotional statement on his Instagram account and shared his bits of memories with the national team vividly throughout the ten-year tenure, the post read “Representing our great country for a decade has been one of the greatest honours of my life. Every time I wore this very special blue jersey I felt immense pride. The duty to give it [my] all, play my heart out and win every time we went on the field. I’ve been contemplating this for several months and decided it’s the right time for me to retire.”

“As a child, I remember following France 98, this team, these players who made us experience indescribable emotions. I dreamed of being our heroes and 20 years later I lived one of the best experiences of my life. We brought home the World 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. This victory that we won all together would never have been possible without the support of [coach] Didier Deschamps, every member of the management and staff over the years, and my team-mates who have defended our shirt in every game we played”, he also added.

A First Title as a United Player Soon?

Varane’s retirement from the French national football team certainly signifies his commitment to his club, especially when the new manager Erik ten Hag is vowing to revive Manchester United’s past glory days. The Red Devils are currently sitting third in the Premier League, with cup competitions such as the Carabao Cup, FA Cup and Europa League still in contention; The defensive partnership between Varane and World Cup-winning centre-back Lisandro Martínez would be vital in United’s bid for titles in future, and the former will look forward to winning his first title as a Manchester United player when his team plays Newcastle United in the Carabao Cup final. Will Varane top up his club trophy cabinet to 19 silverwares by the end of this month?

Zlatan Ibrahimović claimed that Argentina will not win another major crown following the absurd behaviour of its players in celebrating the final victory. We have the details for you here:

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