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
Arsenal transfer news: Gunners fans devastated as they become only team in top 5 European leagues not to sign outfield player
Arsenal transfer news: Karim Benzema, Edinson Cavani and Gregorz Krychowiak were all linked but Wenger and Gunners fail on deadline day
David De Gea: Manchester United in bitter war of words with Real Madrid over failed transfer
David De Gea, Peter Odemwingie and the 18 weirdest transfer deadline day stories
Anthony Martial fee: 'Add-on' includes Manchester United signing winning the Ballon d'Or
- 1 Moscow voted the world's unfriendliest city
- 2 The excuses your boss is most likely to believe when you call in sick
- 3 I'm pansexual – here are the five biggest misconceptions about my sexuality
- 4 More than 11,000 Icelanders offer to house Syrian refugees to help European crisis