France & Man Utd defender Raphael Varane announces retirement from international football
- Centre-half only 29 years of age
- Ready to focus fully on club matters
- Boasts enviable medal collection
WHAT HAPPENED? The classy centre-half, who plays his club football for Premier League giants Manchester United, is only 29 years of age. He has, however, been part of the French national team set-up since 2013 and helped them to global glory in 2018, while also claiming a UEFA Nations League crown in 2021 and reaching another World Cup final in 2022.
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Le Parisien initially reported that Varane is following the lead of fellow countryman Hugo Lloris by walking away from the France squad. It is suggested that a heavy schedule of domestic and international football is taking its toll on the former Real Madrid defender and he now wants to spend more time with his family.
WHAT THEY SAID: Varane has officially announced his international retirement in a post on Instagram, which reads: "Representing our great country for a decade has been one of the greatest honours of my life. I've been contemplating this for several months and deciding it's the right time for me to retire internationally. I will miss these moments with you for sure, but the time has come for the new generation to take over. From the bottom of my heart, thank you."
IN THREE PHOTOS:
WHAT NEXT? Varane made his international debut against Georgia in March 2013 and was a regular for Les Bleus all the way through to their 4-2 victory over Croatia in the 2022 World Cup final. He has been a reliable option for Didier Deschamps over recent years, but is ready to focus solely on events at Manchester United.
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