At face value, Raphael Varane is shy, but he goes about his job with a steely determination that has seen him keep his place in the starting XI of one of the most competitive clubs on the planet
Varane deal ‘a sign of Man Utd’s aims’
Manchester United fans may not know a whole lot about Raphael Varane other than he’s a superstar centre-back with a World Cup and four Champions League trophies to his name.
At face value, the defender is shy, even by his own admission, but goes about his job with a steely determination that has seen him keep his place in the starting XI of one of the most competitive clubs on the planet.
However, the defender also has a mean streak, something every top professional needs, and he’s not afraid to make himself heard when the situation calls for it – a trait Manchester United should benefit from greatly.
Back when he first broke into the squad at Real Madrid, the defender was taking part in a Rondo with his teammates.
Cristiano Ronaldo was centre-stage, at the height of his pomp, and, as recalled in Onze Mondial, shouted to the Frenchman: “Varane, go in the middle”.
Without skipping a beat, the young defender bit back: “I’m not Varane, I’m Rapha”.
The snappy remark could have been considered disrespectful to some, with Ronaldo an established member of the first team and Varane a mere apprentice.
But the Frenchman explained it wasn’t an act of defiance against the five-time Ballon d’Or winner, rather a chance to show his Real Madrid teammates he has the character of a champion.
Varane explained: “It was not disrespectful. I am super nice, I am great, even in the dressing room. I am also quite shy.
“But when there are difficult times or when you have to show your character, you can count on me. The players who have known me for a while know this.
“Of course, it’s not the aspect of my character that you see the most or that you see first. It was not a matter of respect or disrespect, it was just a matter of, ‘If I’m not seen, I’m not considered much’.
“After that, it was more like: ‘Oh, I am also here, I also have a name.’ It was more like that.”
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Manchester United confirmed last week they have agreed on personal terms with Varane ahead of a £45million move.
The transfer hit something of a roadblock with problems over the Frenchman getting a Visa, but these issues are all believed to be ironed out now and Varane is flying to Manchester this Thursday.
The 28-year-old is required to quarantine for 10 days upon arrival in the UK and will then be able to complete his United medical before putting pen to paper on a contract.