Raphaël Varane justifies international retirement: “We play non-stop.”

In an interview with Canal+ in the wake of his international retirement, Raphaël Varane discussed the reasons for his decision to call time on his France career at the age of 29, notably pointing the figure at the hectic schedule that comes with the football calendar.

The World Cup winner spoke of a feeling of a exhaustion after nearly a decade with the national team, in an interview which will be broadcast in full on Sunday night.

The Manchester United man, who picked up 93 caps for Les Bleus – putting him 13th in the all-time list – recovered from injury in time to be part of the France squad that reached the final of the World Cup in December, adding a runners-up medal to the 2018 title. Also among his honours list is a Nations League win in 2021, while he was absent due to injury from Les Bleus’ run to the Euro 2016 final on home soil.

“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, I feel like I’m suffocating and that [Varane] the player is gobbling up [Varane] the man.”

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