Raphael Varane, a center-back for Manchester United and France, has announced his retirement from international football.
After making his debut in 2013, the 29-year-old, who helped his nation win the World Cup in 2018, made 93 appearances for the team and scored five goals.
“Representing our great country for a decade has been one of the greatest honors of my life,” said varane.
“Every time I wore this very special blue jersey, I felt immense pride. My duty is to give it all, play my heart out, and win every time we put on the field.
“I’ve been contemplating this for several months and deciding it’s the right time for me to retire internationally.”
Varane had been expected to take over the French captaincy from Lloris.
“As a child, I remember following France 98, this team, these players who made us experience indescribable emotions,” said Varane.
“I dreamed of being our hero and 20 years later I lived one of the best experiences of my life, one that made me really proud. We brought home the Cup!
“I will never forget it. I still feel every single one of the emotions felt on that day, July 15, 2018. That was one of the most amazing and memorable moments of my life.”
‘This victory that we won together would never have been possible without the support of Didier Deschamps, of each of the members of the management and our staff during these years, of my teammates who defended our shirt at each of our matches…
‘But more importantly, this victory would not have been possible without the support of each of you along this path. Your enthusiasm, the celebrations, and the memories of our return to France will remain etched in my mind forever.
Kylian Mbappe is the front-runner for the captaincy now that Varane has decided to end his career with France. Didier Deschamps’ team will begin Euro 2024 qualifying at the end of March with a doubleheader against the Netherlands and the Republic of Ireland.
“We have a group of talented young players who are ready to step up and who deserve their chance.”
‘Even after the defeat in the final last year, with certainly a great run, you welcomed us as heroes when we returned. To each and every one of you, a thousand times THANK YOU!
In conclusion, Raphael Varane is a professional football player of the highest caliber who has had tremendous success at both the club and international levels. He is a player who has a strong work ethic, a strong sense of commitment, and a deep humility that makes him an inspiration to many football fans and players who want to play the game one day.