At the young age of 25, Real Madrid’s Raphael Varane is emerging from the shadows as one of the teams most prolific talents.
Varane has been a key player within the team ever since transferring from Lens for the ’cheap’ price of 10 million Euros in 2011 and Madrid have been laughing ever since.
Since being at the club for almost eight years, Varane has developed into an extremely reliable defender who can assist a struggling defensive line, score crucial goals and use his leadership mentality to help guide the team.
There is a lot to be said about this young player so let’s take a closer look at some of his key attributes.
Varane’s season so far
At the beginning of the 2018-19 season, it was evident that the defender was showing signs of fatigue after a lengthy past season and a crazy summer with the FIFA World Cup.
Despite the fatigue, Varane achieved a remarkable feat early on in the season by being named as Real Madrid’s fourth captain after a spot opened up due to the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo.
In regards to game time, Varane has played 300 minutes in domestic competition for Los Blancos and has been named to the starting XI three times under new head coach Julen Lopetegui.
While this may come as a surprise to some, the Frenchman appears to have rejuvenated his previous form having 74% duels won and 92% pass accuracy amongst his first few games.
Varane will continue to demonstrate his talent on the pitch to Lopetegui and fight to be routine starting defender for Los Blancos, which is a feat he achieved for the Real Madrid’s first UEFA Champions League game.
World Cup Analysis
This past summer, 15 Real Madrid players had the opportunity to go to the 2018 FIFA World Cup and play for the world’s most coveted trophy, however, Varane was the only player to come home with the title.
As one of the players amongst the countries new “golden generation,” Varane has already proved himself to be a prolific player with the French National team which he also had a chance to captain.
He was named to the first team back in 2014 and has been a crucial player ever since. Participating in both the 2014 and 2018 World Cups, only missing out of the 2016 Euros due to injury.
Under Didier Deschamps, the young defender started all seven games in Russia, playing a total of 630 minutes, had a pass accuracy rate of 87% and made 100% of his tackles.
He even scored a crucial goal against Uruguay to help the team win the quarter-finals 0-2 and move one step closer to the glorious title.
While maintaining his role as a centre-back alongside Captain Sergio Ramos, Varane has developed in a defender who has many different technical abilities, much like his mentor.
Defensively, he is very strong in the air, winning 65% of his aerials duels throughout his budding career and has the ability to successfully go 1-on-1 with opponents and stop any potential attacking threat to Real Madrid’s goal.
In terms of playmaking, Varane boasts a pass conversion rate of 94%. His long passes hover around 75% accuracy and smart passes stand at 88% accuracy.
Varane also proves to be a strong force in the box with 10 goals to his name amongst LaLiga, Copa del Rey and the UEFA Champions League.
Overall, Varane is a player who exemplifies all the ideals of Real Madrid, talent, determination, leadership and achievement, and the Frenchman’s trophy count can be just one example of that with 34 trophies already acquired.
While Varane may not gain as much media attention as Galacticos like Gareth Bale and former frontman Cristiano Ronaldo, he certainly has a lot more to give to Los Blancos until the end of his contract in 2020.
The future of Real Madrid will be in good hands when/if Varane wears the captain’s armband and his talent will surely be enough to guide Los Blancos to more titles.