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Raphael Varane Reveals Why He Retired From International Football At 29


Manchester United defender, Raphael Varane has claimed that the overloaded schedule” of football was a factor in his decision to retire from international football.

Varane, who appeared to be in his prime and was two months away from turning 30, announced the end of his international career on Thursday.

But the Manchester United defender has been candid about how his inability to consistently deliver at his best affected him and ultimately forced him to make the difficult decision to stop competing for France.

In an interview with Canal+, Varane said: ‘I gave everything, physically and mentally. 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.’

Varane appeared to be in line to take over as France’s captain after Hugo Lloris announced his retirement from international football last month, making his announcement more shocking.

In the ten years following his 2013 international debut, Varane played 93 times for his country, serving as a pillar in the middle of the defense.

He featured throughout the 2018 World Cup, which saw Les Bleus win the trophy for the second time in the team’s history. He also significantly influenced France’s World Cup 2022 performance, which ended in the final. Argentina ended France’s hope of defending the title via penalties.

The 29-year-old and his country won the Nations League after France overcame a deficit to beat Spain 2-1 in 2021.

Most of his fans thought he would lead France to the 2026 World Cup. But after admitting that representing his nation was damaging his mental health, he decided to stop playing in international matches.

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Varane’s retirement startled a lot of people, but France’s manager, Didier Deschamps, embraced it enthusiastically and praised the center-back for his “unwavering commitment to the blue jersey.”

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