Raphael Varane Of Man United Reveals Why He Retired Early From International Football

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    Manchester United and France International center-back Raphael Varane announced his retirement from international football on Thursday, February 2nd.

    Raphael Varane
    Raphael Varane

    The 29-year-old Frenchman who is still at the peak of his career has revealed that he decided to retire from France duty because he was struggling to cope with club football’s ‘overloaded schedule’.

    Raphael’s abrupt retirement from international duty erupted despite having featured in the Qatar World Cup and still holding a vital role in his country’s defense as one of France’s best center-back.

    Raphael Varane ended his international football career after making 93 appearances and being part of the team that won the 2018 Russia World Cup.

    Raphael Varane
    Raphael Varane helped France win the 2018 World Cup

    Meanwhile, his retirement came as a big shock for the French national team, especially with both Karim Benzema and Hugo Lloris having also retired from France football in recent weeks.

    Raphael Varane
    Raphael Varane

    However, according to the 29-year-old United defender, his busy schedules and his consistent football action at the club level have not provided much space which eventually led to him taking the difficult decision to quit playing for his country.

    During a talk session with Canal+, which will be aired in full on Sunday, the Manchester United center-back implied that he felt like he was ‘suffocating’ amid the intense match schedule.

    He said: “I gave everything, physically and mentally,” he said. “But the very highest level is like a washing machine, you play all the time and you never stop.

    “We have overloaded schedules and play non-stop. Right now, I feel like I’m suffocating and that [Varane] the player is gobbling up [Varane] the man.”

    Meanwhile, the 29-year-old United defender announced his retirement from national duty at a time people believed Varane was in the best position to become the new France captain after the former skipper Hugo Lloris retired from international duty last month.

    But things don’t go in the way of people’s intention sometimes as Raphael opted out of national duty to focus on club football after famously winning the World Cup in 2018 and the Nations League in 2021.

    Raphael gave his best in every fixture at the 2018 World Cup as Les Bleus lifted the trophy for the second time in their history.

    The United center-back also played a crucial role in Didier Deschamps’ side helping them to reach the final of the recent World Cup tournament in Qatar.

    Raphael Varane’s feat at the recent World Cup helped Didier Deschamps’ Les Bleus finish as runners-up in Qatar 2022 even though he aimed to bring the trophy home.

    It now transpires that the 2022 World Cup final defeat to Lionel Messi’s fierce Argentina on 18 December, one of the competition’s greatest matches of all time, was Raphael’s last International outing.

    His decision to retire from France football also came as a shock to the France manager Deschamps, but he was keen to appreciate the defender for his ‘unwavering commitment to the blue jersey’.

    However, former France star Jerome Rothen has slammed Varane, claiming his decision to stop representing his country at such a young age is a ‘stupid’ one.

    Raphael Verane and United coach Ten Hag

    On the other hand, Manchester United boss, Erik ten Hag opined that it was “good news” for the Red Devils.

    Since the defender will be retiring from international duty to focus on club football, he will certainly channel all his energy in one direction, helping to solidify United’s defense.

    Varane has admitted that consistently playing at the highest level has taken its toll on him which forced him to announce his abrupt retirement from international duty.

    What’s next for Raphael Varane?

    Having featured in yesterday’s 2-1 victory against Crystal Palace, Raphael Varane will next be seen in formidable form shielding United’s defense when they host Leeds United next week Wednesday, February 8th.

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