- France secured their second World Cup title win after defeating Croatia 4-2 in the Final
- Raphael Varane, who played a key part in the French winning campaign, spoke to L’Equipe hours after arriving in the Paris
On Sunday, France were crowned the world champions for only the second time after defeating Croatia 4-2 in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Final. Raphael Varane, who was one of the leading performers for the French national team in Russia recently gave an interview to the national daily L’Equipe, hours after landing back in Paris from Moscow.
The French team led by captain Hugo Lloris and manager Didier Deschamps arrived in Paris soon after the final got over at the Luzhniki Stadium and were greeted by over 5 lakhs on the famous Champs Élysées. Varane who had just weeks back won the Champions League for the 3rd time in a row with Real Madrid is currently enjoying the best phase of his career but there is no doubt winning that prestigious World Cup trophy is the most important career-defining moment in his career.
Before Varane left for his summer holiday, prior to the start of the next season, he sat down with L’Equipe and talked about his journey as an individual and the team’s road to big Final in Moscow. Varane’s first reaction came regarding the massive crowd that waited for him and his team at Champs Elysees.
What happened at Champs Elysees was madness
He said, “Before the finale, when I spoke to the band, I said, “Guys, we’re going to do something historic, huge, that will bind us for life.” I thought I was saying that knowing what I said but, in fact, not at all (laughs). When we arrived in France, we saw what happened and we were all shocked (laughs). It is not possible, without living it, to understand what it is. When we were in the bus, we had the impression of having stopped the country. It’s extraordinary. We saw madness, what. I have already celebrated titles in Spain but what we lived there in Paris, I never saw something like that. ”
France’s first World Cup win came in 1998, thanks to the heroics of Zinedine Zidane and the leadership of current Didier Deschamps. Varane believes that his team’s victory in Moscow will act as an inspiration to young football players just like 1998’s victory did for the current squad members. He said, “We know what it means for young people. We know that, inevitably, we will be more watched, more taken as an example too. It will necessarily mark a generation of young people. We grew up with Zizou, with this generation of 1998-2000, I hope it will be so far-reaching.
It is not a heavy responsibility (Being a role model). It’s more a pride, a great responsibility. We have always been demanding with us. It will just have more reach.”
Didier Deschamps motivation was key after a horror 2016 EURO Final against Portugal
Raphael Varane also spoke about the role played by Deschamps in leading this young French squad to World Cup glory, especially after the heartbreak many of these players had suffered back in 2016 at the EURO Final against Portugal. “The most important thing he could do with this group is this spirit: everything for the team,” Varane said about his national team manager.
With superstar players gracing the French national teams in the past, it is but natural that some players from this World Cup-winning squad are going to get more attention than the rest but Raphael Varane believes that this squad doesn’t need a single superstar, rather this team will be remembered as a group.
“Well, we put group pictures (laughs). There is nobody in one (laughs). We put the photo of the bus where we celebrate the victory. As we have seen, this is the all generation for the team. We do not need to exist individually, we exist together. That’s the strength of this group. And, above all, that’s what needs to be maintained,” he concluded at the end.
WATCH: France v Croatia – 2018 FIFA World Cup™ FINAL – HIGHLIGHTS