Manchester United defender, Raphael Varane has retired from international football.
The 29 year old was a key member of Les Bleus in the last decade – winning the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia and the Silver medal at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
The retirement comes just as he was been tipped for the captaincy of the French team following goalkeeper Hugo Lloris’ retirement last month.
Varane took to his Instagram handle to make the astonishing announcement.
“Representing our great country for a decade has been one of the greatest honors of my life. Each time I wore the special blue jersey, I felt immense pride.
“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 it is the right time for the right time to retire from international football.
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“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, and one that made me really proud.
“We brought the World Cup home!! I will never forget. 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.
“The victory that we won together would never have been possible without 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 will 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!
“I will miss those my moments with you for sure, but the time has come for the new generation to take over. We have a group of talented young players, who deserve a chance, and who need you,” the post reads.
Varane was capped 93 times by France and scored five times.
He played at Laliga outfit Real Madrid between 2011 and 2021 between switching to Manchester United.
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