Manchester United defender Raphael Varane is in line for the France national team captaincy.
This comes after Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris announced his retirement from international football. Along with vacating his spot between the sticks, Lloris has also left a vacuum with regard to the armband.
French news publication, L’Équipe reports that Varane is widely deemed as the natural and most obvious successor to Lloris for the captaincy.
However, the United centre-back is facing stiff competition from Kylian Mbappe for the armband.
L’Équipe reports, “Logic would dictate that the Manchester United defender take over from the Tottenham goalkeeper. Varane (29) was still the vice-captain at the World Cup. In his central role in the team, in the life of the selection and with Didier Deschamps.
“The former pillar of Real Madrid is also the executive who can best project himself into the future given his age compared to other older players.
“Increasingly a leader since this World Cup, Kylian Mbappé could then be a strong choice from Deschamps.”
Mbappe’s speech during the World Cup final against Argentina went viral and is an example that L’Équipe points out of the attacker’s leadership.
With France down and offering nothing in the first half, it was Mbappe’s speech that gave Les Bleus the impetus that provided a foundation for them to stage a brilliant fightback.
Mbappe himself scored a hattrick in the final and converted his penalty during the shootout that was won by a Lionel Messi-led Argentina.
Another factor working to Mbappe’s advantage is that he’s seen as a link between the younger generation who have taken to him and the national team.
Mbappe himself has enough experience with the national team. At 24, he already has 66 caps for France and 36 goals.