‘One of the Greatest Honours of My Life’: World Cup Winning Premier League Defender Retires From International Duty

Raphael Varane International Retirement

Manchester United defender Raphael Varane has announced his retirement from international football. The 29-year-old earned 93 caps with France since making his debut in 2013 and won the World Cup with Les Bleus in 2018.

Manchester United Defender Raphael Varane Retires From International Football

Raphael Varane: “It’s The Right Time”

Raphael Varane announced his retirement on social media today, stating that it was something he had been contemplating for several months.

“Each time I wore this special blue jersey, I felt immense pride. The duty to give everything, to play with my heart and to win every time we enter the field.” Varane wrote.

He added: “I have been thinking about it for several months and decided that it was the right time for me to retire from international football.

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“As a child, I remember following France 98, this team, these players who made us experience indescribable emotions. I dreamed of being our heroes 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 all together would never have been possible without the support of Didier Deschamps, every member of the management and staff over the years, and my teammates who have defended our shirt in every game we played.

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“But more importantly, this victory would not have been possible without every single one of you supporting us along the way.

“Your fervour, the celebrations and the memories of our return to France will forever be etched in me.”

Didier Deschamps: “I understand his reasoning”

Raphael Varane’s decision to retire comes just three weeks after former captain and Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper Hugo Lloris also announced his retirement from international duty.

Despite losing two key players, national team manager Didier Deschamps said that he understood why Varane had decided to retire.

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

“Raphael believes he has reached the end of his adventure with the French team. I’ve been in a similar situation to him, I understand his arguments and respect his decision.

“As our paths separate, I wanted to salute his honesty, his unfailing commitment to the blue jersey. Raphael has played a central role on and off the field for the past decade.”

Raphael Varane’s French Career

He made his full senior debut in 2013 against Georgia and went on to be selected for the Brazil World Cup in 2014. He went on to make 93 appearances for the Blues, with only 12 other players featuring more.

As the defender says in his statement, the highlight of his international career was France’s 2018 World Cup win. Varane played every minute of the tournament, opening the scoring against Uruguay in the quarter-finals.

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