Home » “I feel like I’m suffocating”: Raphael Varane breaks silence on international retirement

“I feel like I’m suffocating”: Raphael Varane breaks silence on international retirement

by Abhishek Sarkar

Manchester United had their defence to thank after going down to 10 men just past the hour mark during their league fixture against Crystal Palace on Saturday.

The Red Devils saw off the visitors’ late onslaught to come away with 3 crucial points against Patrick Vieira’s men at Old Trafford.

Once again, the centre-back pairing of Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez would prove to be a key cog in the United machine, further illustrating their importance to the side with another dominating performance at the back.

Varane, 29, has now made further news by announcing his sudden retirement from international football, a decision that caught most people by surprise.

The former Real Madrid centre-back has 93 caps for the French national side, during which time he has scored five goals for the Les Bleus, and was an integral part of their World Cup 2018 winning squad in Russia.

Varane also played a crucial role in Qatar to help his country reach successive World Cup finals, but he could only look helplessly on as the French succumbed to a 4-2 defeat against Argentina in the penalty-shootout.

Speaking in an interview with French channel, Canal+, which will be released in full later today, as per the Athletic, Varane said: “I gave everything, physically and mentally. But the very highest level is like a washing machine, you play all the time and you never stop.

“We have overloaded schedules and play non-stop. Right now, I feel like I’m suffocating and that (Varane) the player is gobbling up (Varane) the man.”

United manager Erik ten Hag also spoke out about Varane’s retirement during his pre-match press conference for the Palace fixture.

“Yeah, for United, I think it’s good news. I think Rapha has achieved everything, in international football, and club-wise.

“I think it is incredible what he has achieved. Big respect (to him) and I’m happy he now puts all of his energy and his experience into our team.

“Rapha is experienced, he makes his own decisions of course about that. But he gave me the information that he was intending to do this, yes.

“I can only express my deep respect for his career until now.”

Varane has struggled with a number of niggling injuries in recent seasons, and this monumental albeit bittersweet decision might just extend his career by a couple of seasons.

His excellent form for United this term is one of the key reasons why the Red Devils have been dominant on multiple fronts, challenging for four trophies, in hopes of ending more than a half-decade long spell without any silverware.

Varane has represented his country with dignity and grace at the highest level, and he can go out with his head held firmly high.

The Frenchman will always be remembered as one of the finest defenders to grace the famous French jersey, and his legacy will forever be one synonymous with success and excellence.

Bonne chance dans ton nouveau voyage, Raphaël!


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