A Third France Player Retires From International Football. Manchester United defender Raphael Varane has announced his retirement from international football.
The 29-year-old becomes the third France player to pull the curtain on his international career since the World Cup after striker Karim Benzema, 35, and goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, 36.
“Representing our great country for a decade has been one of the greatest honours of my life,” Varane posted on his Instagram on Wednesday.
“Every time I wore this very special blue jersey, I felt immense pride. The duty to give it [my] all, play my heart out, and win every time we went on the field. I’ve been contemplating this for several months and decided it’s the right time for me to retire.
“As a child, I remember following France 98, this team, these players who made us experience indescribable emotions. I dreamed of being our hero, and 20 years later, I lived one of the best experiences of my life.
“We brought home the World Cup!! I will never forget it. I still feel every single one of the emotions felt on that day, July 15, 2018. That was one of the most amazing and memorable moments of my life.
“But more importantly, this victory would not have been possible without every single one of you supporting us along the way. Even after the defeat in the final last year, you welcomed us as heroes when we returned. To each and every one of you, THANK YOU a thousand times!
“I will miss these moments with you for sure, but the time has come for the new generation to take over. We have a bunch of talented young players who are ready to take over, who deserve a chance, and who need you.”
Varane made his France debut in March 2013 and went on to win 93 caps in the international arena. The center-back contributed to six goals (five goals, one assist). He played in every game of Les Bleus’ illustrious World Cup victory in 2018 and was a crucial member of the squad that advanced to the final of the tournament once more in December.