France defender Varane retires from international football

France defender Varane retires from international football

Feb 2 (Reuters) – French defender Raphael Varane is retiring from international football, ending a 10-year career with Les Bleus during which he won the World Cup in 2018 and was a runner-up four years later .

The 29-year-old, who has 93 caps after making his debut in 2013, also helped Didier Deschamps’ side win the UEFA Nations League in the 2020-21 season.

“Representing our beautiful country for a decade has been one of the greatest honors of my life,” Varane said in a statement.

“Every time I wore that special blue jersey, I felt a huge sense of pride, the duty to give it my all, to play with my heart and to win every time we took to the pitch.

“I’ve been thinking about it for several months and decided it’s the right time for me to retire from international football.”

The Manchester United defender helped France reach a second consecutive World Cup final in Qatar last year where they were beaten by Argentina on penalties.

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Varane’s decision comes just weeks after France goalkeeper and World Cup-winning captain Hugo Lloris announced his retirement from international football at the age of 36.

The defender added that it was time for a ‘group of talented young players’ to take over.

“Raphael called me a few days ago to explain to me that he wanted to put an end to his international career. He is an intelligent boy who knows how to take the time to think about it and weigh the pros and cons before deciding,” said French coach Deschamps.

“Raphael thinks he has come to the end of his adventure with the France team. I was in a similar situation to him, I understand his arguments and respect his decision.

“As our paths diverge, I wanted to salute his honesty, his unwavering commitment to the blue jersey. Raphaël has played a central role on and off the pitch over the past decade.”

Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bangalore; Editing by Ken Ferris

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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