Man Utd handed HUGE Varane boost

Robin Bairner
Robin Bairner
  • Updated: 2 Feb 2023 11:55 GMT
  • 3 min read
Raphael Varane, Man Utd, 2022/23

Raphael Varane has handed Manchester United a long-term boost as he will announce his retirement from international football, according to reports from France.

Le Parisien states that the 29-year-old is ready to quit the France national team and focus instead on club football following Les Bleus' run to the 2022 World Cup final.

Varane was France's vice-captain and won his 93rd cap against Argentina as Didier Deschamps' men were denied a second successive world title as they lost a penalty shootout.

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He will become the third France veteran to hang up his boots for the national team since the competition, following in the footsteps of Hugo Lloris and Steve Mandanda.

Kylian Mbappe is now widely expected to become France captain at 24.

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Raphael Varane

Raphael Varane

Why Varane has retired from international football

For Manchester United, this represents excellent news as it promises to prolong Varane's club career and make him more readily available around international matches.

Le Parisien states: "Varane is starting to experience some form of physical and psychological wear and tear. He also wants to spend more time with his family.

"In his mind, he had made this final against Messi's Argentina the peak of his international career. The cruel disappointment, linked to the defeat on penalties, has contributed to his thinking."

Not yet 30, another reason for stepping down is that he is convinced of the quality of France's next generation of centre-backs, Dayot Upamecano, Ibrahima Konate and Axel Disasi. Meanwhile, he is said to believe that the 2026 World Cup in North America is too distant a goal to aim for.

Varane's last actions as a France player - if they are to prove that - will be remembered as iconic in his homeland, with the Man Utd defender replaced having given absolutely everything in the World Cup final.