Raphael Varane has shocked the footballing world by announcing his early retirement from international football.
In the days and weeks after a World Cup, it is quite common to see footballers hang up their boots for their international sides and turn their focus solely to club football.
We saw this a lot after the Qatar World Cup with players and managers alike stepping away but one recent announcement has shocked the footballing world.
Manchester United defender, Raphael Varane, has announced his retirement from international football with France at the age of 29.
Merci pour tout 💙🤍♥️ pic.twitter.com/FUk4zZWFpt
— Raphaël Varane (@raphaelvarane) February 2, 2023
Official. Raphaël Varane announces his retirement from international football, he won’t play for French national team anymore. 🚨🇫🇷 #France #MUFC pic.twitter.com/ZsMrEm5VhF
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) February 2, 2023
The former Real Madrid centre-back has made 93 appearances for Les Bleus and was a pivotal part of the squad that lifted in the World Cup in 2018.
Varane released a statement outlining the reasons behind his decision.
‘Representing our great country for a decade has been one of the greatest honors of my life. Each time I wore this special blue jersey, I felt immense pride.’ The statement reads.
‘The duty to give everything, to play with my heart and to win every time we entered the field. I have been considering this for several months and have decided that it is the right time for me to retire from international football.
‘As a child, I remember following France 98, this team, these players who made us experience indescribable emotions. I dreamed of doing like our heroes and, 20 years later, I had one of the best experiences of my life, one that made me really proud.
‘We brought the Cup home!! I will never forget him. I still feel every single emotion I felt that day, July 15, 2018. It was one of the greatest and most memorable moments of my life.
‘This victory that we won together would never have been possible without the support of Didier Deschamps, of each of the members of the management and our staff during these years, of my teammates who defended our shirt at each of our matches. .
‘But more importantly, this victory would not have been possible without the support of each of you along this path. Your enthusiasm, the celebrations and the memories of our return to France will remain etched in my mind forever.
‘Even after the defeat in the final last year, with certainly a great run, you welcomed us as heroes when we returned. To each and every one of you, a thousand times THANK YOU!’