Raphael Varane hails Real Madrid’s elite Champions League mentality

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Former Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane has praised the club’s prevailing mentality towards the Champions League.

The French international chose the curtain on 10 seasons with the Spanish giant before 2021/22 by joining the English Premier League team Manchester United.

During his time with Los Blancos, the former Lens defender played a key role in a stellar streak of European success, racking up four Champions League titles between 2014 and 2018.

Varane suffered an initially crippling injury at Old Trafford and has alluded to the example of Real Madrid to show United need to move closer to the Champions League in 2022.

“After winning the Champions League, Real Madrid fans do not congratulate you,” he said in an exclusive interview with The Telegraph.

“They tell you, OK, go to the next stage.” That was after the first, and then I won four more.

“But they always say ‘Very well, move on to the next.'”

“Sometimes I think you have to enjoy what you have, and we didn’t always celebrate together because, for example, after the last Champions League, we had the World Cup.

“Sometimes I just wanted to pause and have time to celebrate success.

“That’s why Real Madrid is special, because they have this mentality, they are different.

Raphael Varane

“That’s why I wanted to change. Not because I didn’t like that mentality, or because it’s bad, it’s so good, but I want to try something different.”

Varane has not featured for United since their Champions League draw with Atalanta on November 2 due to a thigh injury.

The club has confirmed that its ongoing injury rehabilitation is on track, with a return to light training this week, and a potential first-team return away from home in Norwich City next weekend.

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