Raphael Varane won both the World Cup and the Champions League last season, but wasn't among the three finalists for either the UEFA or the FIFA best men's player award.
In 2017/18, Varane became just the ninth player to win the Champions League and World Cup in the same season, starring for Madrid as they won Europe’s premier club trophy for a historic third time and then guiding a solid France defence in their triumph in Russia.
He did make FIFA’s initial list of finalists, but for both awards, the top three were Liverpool‘s Mohamed Salah, Varane’s erstwhile club team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo, and fellow Real Madrid man Luka Modric. Modric won the UEFA award.
“I’m glad you told me about it, but it’s not a topic of debate within the group,” Varane said.
“It’s an individual reward. We play a collective sport. It showcases the work done, but it’s a personal one.
“It’s not an objective and if I don’t win it, it won’t be a disappointment. It’s true that last season was exceptional. It will be difficult to do better, unless I put in 40 goals.
“Other players are less mentioned but have been very successful, like [N’Golo] Kante or [Paul] Pogba.”