It’s been a strange month for Raphael Varane. He has spent the past few weeks rehabilitating his injury with the aim of getting himself fit for the World Cup.
He played two matches, the last with the reserve team, while the French national team rested its usual holder in the last group match against Tunisia.
Didier Deschamps wanted to rely on his physical condition and Varane was included in the squad but it was not a great success.
France lacked spark and lost 1-0 to Tunisia, Varane showing signs of rust in his game.
Varane raised the issue in France
Varane’s role as captain was questioned by French pundits Claude Le Roy, the former international manager for Ghana and Cameroon.
Football.fr: “He’s not a leader. I don’t think he’s a player charismatic enough to coach others.
Varane had a difficult task in Wednesday’s game, playing as part of a provisional line-up, and perhaps more was expected of him.
As the most experienced player on the pitch and captain of the team, it’s understandable that he’s been criticized for losing – that’s how international football works.
L’Equipe journalist Sebastien Drago He also questioned Varane stating that fitness was Varane’s main issue.
He said: He was not in this meeting. We have to ask ourselves for the next games. He was good in the first game, he came back from injury, the second game will be tough, but what about the third and after? I’m not sure.
“I don’t know if he will be physically ready.”
Part of Varane’s problem is that he has already set such high standards and has always lived up to them.
Varane will need to be on top of his game in the last 16 encounters between France, Poland and Robert Lewandowski.
Lewandowski has yet to set up a match, but his quality remains, and Warren’s clash with him could be a preview of Manchester United’s Europa League clash with Barcelona.
Varane is likely to start and it will be an important game for him. He hopes to shake off his rust against Tunisia and playing with the senior French national team will help him.
Despite Le Roy’s jokes, France will look to Varane as a captain when their team really needs him. It could be a little more flexible to kill Tunisia.