Thu 02 February 2023 | 13:30

Manchester United defender Raphael Varane retires from France national team

Manchester United defender Raphael Varane has announced his retirement from international football.

The 29-year-old


who won the World Cup in 2018 with


has decided to retire from international football.

Varane made his debut in 2013 and played in 93 matches for Les Bleus. He also captained his country in 20 matches.

The former Real Madrid defender played in all France’s matches at the 2018 World Cup, also kicking the ball at six of France's matches at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Varane, who joined

Manchester United

in 2021, confirmed his retirement with a message posted on his Instagram page on Thursday.

"Representing our great country for a decade has been one of the greatest honours of my life,"

Varane wrote.

"Every time I wore this very special blue jersey I felt immense pride. The duty to give it [my] all, play my heart out and win every time we went on the field. I've been contemplating this for several months and decided it's the right time for me to retire.

"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.

"We brought home the World 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 [coach] Didier Deschamps, every member of the management and staff over the years, and my team-mates who have defended our shirt in every game we played.

"But more importantly, this victory would not have been possible without every single one of you supporting us along the way. Even after the defeat in the final last year, you welcomed us as heroes when we returned. To each and every one of you, THANK YOU a thousand times!

"I will miss these moments with you for sure, but the time has come for the new generation to take over. We have a bunch of talented young players who are ready to take over, who deserve a chance and who need you.”

Other France players like Karim Benzema, Hugo Lloris, Blaise Matuidi, and Steve Mandanda have also recently announced their retirement from international football.

France manager Didier Deschamps said he understands why Varane decided to end his international career, but called it a regrettable decision.

Deschamps said:

"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 reflect, weigh the pros and cons before deciding.

"Without going into the details of our exchange, Raphael believes that he has reached the end of his adventure with the France team. I experienced a situation somewhat similar to his, I understand his arguments and respect his decision even if it may seem regrettable.

"Of course, I cannot turn this page without a certain emotion, given the ties we have forged since August 2012. Like Hugo Lloris, he will have been, barring injury, in all of my squads."

source: SportMob

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