Manchester United center-back and France international Raphael Varane has announced his retirement from international football.
According to Les Parisien, Raphael Varane shocked French football after he previously revealed his imminent retirement from international football, which has now been confirmed.
His shock resolve to hang the boots is coming when he was touted to take over from Hugo Lloris as Les Bleus captain.
Raphael Varane made his debut for France national team in March 2013 in the team’s victory Georgia in Euro qualifiers.
In 2018, when France lifted the their second World Cup trophy, Raphael Varane started all matches and was integral to the team’s run on to victory.
His pairing with Umtiti at the back provided enough defensive cover for Didier Deschamps’ squad, who subsequently went on to lift the trophy.
Meanwhile, a threatening thigh injury nearly truncated his international career, ruling him out of the France Euros 2016 squad. But after his recovery, he regained his starting berth and helped the team reach two consecutive World Cup finals.
Since his debut for Les Bleus, Raphael Varane has made 93 appearances for the team, scoring five goals.
As things stand, Raphael Varane’s retirement marks the end of an era for Les Bleus, after Tottenham keeper Hugo Lloris also announced his retirement from international duty last month.
According to reports, Raphael Varane was expected to take up the captain batch of France national team after Hugo Lloris exited the stage hence his decision to hang off the boots is a shock move to France football administrators.
There are reports, Kylian Mbappe will likely take up the captaincy role with the retirements of the two veterans in the team.
Both Varane and Lloris were instrumental in France’s run to the 2022 World Cup final where they lost to Argentina on penalties.
Why is Raphael planning retirement?
According to reports, Varane’s retirement comes down to the ‘physical and psychological wear and tear’ he has suffered due to a hectic schedule of matches that has heaped heavy pressure on the 29-year-old.
The former Real Madrid defender reportedly wants to focus on his Manchester United career and spent more time with his family as well.
Varane has won the won the World Cup and Champions League, becoming only the fourth player to win both competition in the same year after Christian Karembu (1998), Roberto Carlos (2002) and Sami Khedira (2014).
The highly-rated center-bakc also helped France defeat Spain 2-1 to win UEFA win the Nations League in 2021.
While the French team stands to lose from the imminent and unexpected exit of Raphael Varane, Manchester United stands to benefit immensely from the decision.
The 29-year-old will now gets enough time to focus on his Old Trafford career while avoiding the hassles of frequent international duties.
Meanwhile, his partnership with Manchester United’s summer signing from Ajax Lisandro Martinez, has provided a great buffer for the United defense this season, helping the team challenge for a top-four finish.
Last season, Varane missed 13 club games due to injury. This season, he has made 15 Premier League appearances, 1 EFL Cup appearance, and 1 Europa League appearance for the Red Devils.
He is the third French player to announce his international retirement after Karim Benzema, and Hugo Lloris.