Never two without three !
The adage applies to the news of the France team.
After Hugo Lloris and Steve Mandanda, another 2018 world champion is preparing for his release.
And not just any.
According to our information, it is Raphaël Varane.
The latter has been wondering, for several weeks now, about the future of his adventure with the Blues, which began on March 22, 2013 against Georgia.
In recent days, Raphaël Varane was still weighing the pros and cons, but the idea of stopping predominates.
His 93rd selection against Argentina, on December 18 in a World Cup final that went down in history and which he played until the 113th minute, will most likely remain his last.
Such a choice surprises, even challenges, when it relates to a player not yet 30 years old (he will have them on April 25).
Spend more time with your family
In reality, the tricolor defense manager is starting to experience some form of physical and psychological wear and tear.
He also aspires to devote more time to his family.
In his mind, he had made this final against Messi's Albiceleste the peak of his international career.
The cruel disappointment, linked to the defeat on penalties, certainly contributed to nourishing his reflection.
Trained in Lens and turned professional in 2010, he has since built up an immense track record.
In club, at Real Madrid, as in the France team, he collected trophies with in particular a World Cup and four Champions Leagues (he did not play in the final in 2016).
The Mancunian has, moreover, not been spared in recent years by physical concerns.
To spare his knee, he now aspires to benefit from larger recovery periods in the season.
Absent from Euro 2016 due to a thigh problem, he has, as we remember, seen his participation in the 2022 World Cup long combined with the conditional after his thigh injury contracted on October 22 against Chelsea.
Read alsoThe Varane dilemma, back from injury, in three questions
We still remember his leaving the field in tears on October 22.
At that time, he imagined having to give up the Qatari date.
Through hard work and perseverance, he managed to offer enough guarantees to the staff to be retained in the list of 25 revealed on November 9.
On the bench for the first match against Australia, he worked hard in training to rejoin the starting lineup against Denmark and never leave it afterwards.
Throughout the competition, he was irreproachable in his position while asserting his leadership with the group.
He didn't have the reputation of a vocal leader, though, and that's why his words weighed all the more heavily.
His rant at half-time France-Poland
At half-time in the round of 16 against Poland, the vice-captain thus reminded his partners that they were "living a dream" but that "this dream could end at any time", especially if France did not show a better face in the second half.
Message heard (3-1).
Within the collective, the respect inspired by Varane in everyone, from the youngest to the most experienced, is immense.
Everyone also agreed to promise him the captaincy after the withdrawal of Hugo Lloris.
The decision of the latter, with whom he is very close, to bow out in Blue also weighed in Varane's introspection.
Read alsoVarane on Lloris before his selection record: "He has this righteousness, this respect for others"
So of course, the prospect of being invested with the armband did not leave Varane insensitive with regard to his attachment to the France team and the quality of his relations with Didier Deschamps and his staff.
He welcomes it as an unfailing sign of confidence.
Euro 2024, the only major competition missing from his CV, represents an exciting goal.
The 2026 World Cup, co-organized by the United States, Mexico and Canada, appears to him, on the other hand, as a horizon far too distant.
It will be explained very soon
But in the light of the progress of the World Cup, the vice-captain was also able to convince himself of the quality of the next generation embodied by Upamecano, Konaté (who replaced him in the final) or even Disasi.
The emergence of these young talents would, in his view, make his succession less problematic.
Throughout the competition, he perceived, at the same time, the beginnings of a generational gap.
He now feels a little less connected with the youngest and without Lloris and perhaps quite quickly Giroud, remained quite vague about his future in selection, he perhaps judges that the gatherings to come were likely to turn out to be a bit long .
For all these reasons, and others in the realm of the intimate, which he will explain soon, Varane is therefore preparing to bow out.
With his probable departure, in any case, another very beautiful page of the Blues will close.