Didier Deschamps “understands” and “respects” Raphaël Varane’s international retirement decision

Raphaël Varane (29) announced his retirement from international football on Thursday, in what was a surprise and sudden decision. The Manchester United centre-back, who has 93 caps for Les Bleus, won the World Cup in 2018. Manager Didier Deschamps has now reacted to the decision, saying he “understands” and “respects” Varane’s choice to stop playing for the France national team. 

In an official statement, the France manager began by saying that Varane had phoned him a few days prior to the announcement to inform him of his intentions. Deschamps said it was during this phone call that Varane said that he “believed he had reached the end of his adventure with the France national team.

In a communiqué, transcribed by L’Équipe, Deschamps continued: “I had a similar situation. I understand his arguments and respect his decision, even if it may seem regrettable in view of everything that he did in the World Cup, during which, from start to finish, he acted like the leader we know.”

Of course, I can not turn this page without a certain emotion, given our close ties since August 2012. Like Hugo Lloris, he would have been, without injury, in all of my squads,” added Deschamps. 

Varane is the fourth member of Les Bleus’ 2018 World Cup-winning squad to retire from international football, after Blaise Matuidi, Steve Mandanda and Hugo Lloris. The latter two confirmed their international retirements following the World Cup final defeat to Argentina in December. 

Although our paths are separating, I want to salute his honesty and unwavering commitment to the blue shirt. Raphaël has played a central role on and off the pitch over the last decade. I took great pleasure in being his coach, and I know that is also the case with the rest of the staff. I wish him the best fulfilment and happiness possible,” Deschamps concluded.

GFFN | Luke Entwistle

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