Manchester United’s Raphael Varane has provided an honest insight into his decision to retire from international football.
The 29-year-old announced his retirement from the France national team on Thursday, almost 10 years to the day he made his debut.
Varane played in four major tournaments since his first appearance for Les Bleus in 2013, registering 93 caps, five goals and 36 clean sheets. He is one of the most decorated players in world football and cemented his status as one of the greatest centre-backs by lifting the World Cup in 2018 in Russia.
Reports suggested that Varane was in line to take the captaincy armband permanently following Hugo Lloris’ retirement, however, he will now be focusing solely on club football with the Red Devils.
Varane explains decision to retire from international football
The defender has reflected on his choice, which likely wouldn’t have come as an easy decision, given France’s talent and the prospect of further success.
He said to Canal+ via MEN: “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, feel like I’m suffocating and that [Varane] the player is gobbling up [Varane] the man.”
It’s no surprise that playing almost non-stop at the top level for over 10 years has had its impact on Varane. As aforementioned, he has won almost everything available to him throughout his career for both club and country and will always be regarded as one of the greats, but that takes its toll. Injuries have been a prevailing issue throughout his career and now, playing just at club level, significantly reduces the risks as he will have adequate time to rest in between United’s hectic schedule.