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
Luckless Abou Diaby full of confidence as he attempts yet another Arsenal comeback
Arturo Vidal: Midfielder must ask to join Manchester United, say Juventus
Scottie dogs in Commonwealth Games opening ceremony 'disrespectful to Muslims', say Malaysian politicians
Calum Chambers joins Arsenal: Gunners complete £16m transfer of right-back
Manchester United latest: Angel Di Maria move no closer as Juan Mata emerges as Louis van Gaal's favoured No 10 as prospect of signing
- 1 Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
- 2 The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
- 3 Is Ebola coming to Britain? UK health officials issue warning to doctors as outbreak fears grow
- 4 Richard Dawkins says 'date rape is bad, stranger rape is worse' on Twitter
- 5 Danish TV reporter is all business up top, all party down below