France & Man Utd defender Raphael Varane announces retirement from international football

France defender Raphael Varane announced his retirement from international football on Thursday. Varane, who was part of France’s 2018 World Cup-winning squad in Russia, finished his international career with 93 caps for Les Bleus.

“Representing our great country for a decade has been one of the greatest honours of my life,” said Varane on social media. Every time I wore this very special blue jersey, I felt immense pride,” he added.

Varane, currently playing at Manchester United, made his senior debut for France in March 2013 at 19. He started his first match for France in a qualifier for the World Cup against Georgia, where his team clinched a 3–1 victory.

On May 13, 2014, he was included in Didier Deschamps’ squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Despite his below-par performance in the World Cup, Varane was named in the three-man shortlist for the tournament’s ‘Best Young Player’ award.

On October 14 in the same year, Varane became the youngest player to captain France, when he took the armband for Blaise Matuidi at half-time in a 3-0 win over Armenia. On November 18, he scored his first international goal against Sweden to give Les Bleus a 1-0 win.

The central defender did not feature in the 2016 edition of the European Championships due to injury. On May 17, 2018, Varane was called up to France’s 23-man squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. He went on to start all seven of France’s games and played every minute of its World Cup-winning campaign.

Varane also reached the final of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar but finished as the runner-up after Argentina beat France on penalties.

Source: sportstar

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