World Cup 2014: Player profile - who is Raphael Varane, the France defender?
Counting down the 100 players to look out for in Brazil this summer
Wednesday 05 March 2014
The World Cup in Brazil is coming into view and everyone is hoping this summer's carnival can take its place among some of the great tournaments of the past, but who will be the star of the show?
With 98 days to go until things kick-off, check out our latest instalment of 100 players to look out for at the competition below.
98. Raphael Varane (France)
Arguably the most promising defender in world football, Zinedine Zidane personally recommended that Real Madrid sign Verane in 2011.
The 20-year-old has displaced Pepe at the heart of the Spanish giants’ defence and has barely put a foot wrong since. Quick, strong, dominant in the air and freakishly composed on the ball, Varane is perhaps the most precious of jewels in France’s crown.
Last year, Spanish tabloid Marca included him in Madrid’s best ever foreign XI, alongside Zidane, Roberto Carlos and Luis Figo.
Did you know: After a Champions League match against Galatasaray, Didier Drogba described Verane as one of the best defenders he’s ever faced.
Latest in Sport
Think before you ink: Manchester United fan gets Sir Alex Ferguson tattoo - and will regret it for the rest of his life
Mario Balotelli: Staff at arson-hit Manchester Dogs' Home convinced Liverpool striker is behind five-figure donation
Colombian women's cycling team kit that makes wearer appear naked is branded 'unacceptable' by UCI president
Manchester City vs Chelsea: Diego Costa is now the main man, says Didier Drogba
Paul Scholes column: Arsenal's Mesut Ozil is too good for Arsene Wenger to waste on the left wing
- 2 Friends 20th anniversary: Alison Jackson photographs reunited cast
- 3 There is literally not a single woman in this iPhone 6 queue
- 4 Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
- 5 Scottish independence: Tory revolt against 'devo max' grows as Rail Minister Claire Perry joins