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France’s World Cup winning defender Raphael Varane responds to criticism

Raphael Varane believes France's World Cup winning campaign has allowed him to answer those who questioned his character.

Sport360 staff 2018/07/19

After displaying back-to-back solid performances for his national team, Raphael Varane has hit back at his critics.

Varane, who was a dominant force in France’s World Cup winning squad, alongside defensive partner Samuel Umtiti, believes he has answered criticism from those who think he is “too nice”.

“Since I was seven years old, they say ‘he’s nice, he’s nice’. Yes, I’m nice, but that’s not all I am,” said the Lille-born centre-back.

“You cannot have the career I’m having, staying at Real Madrid for seven years, without character.

At the age of just 25, the Real Madrid star has bagged 16 titles – Four Champions Leagues, three Club World Cups, three European Super Cups, two league titles, one Copa del Rey, two Spanish Super Cups and one World Cup; an achievement worth all the praise.

The Frenchman however believes that this World Cup, he made a point and sent out a message to those who had questioned his character and compared him to Los Blancos captain Sergio Ramos in the past.

“Sometimes, I was asked to play like [Sergio] Ramos, to play like any other, to be more aggressive, to be more this, more that.

“I have my style of play; it has not done too badly until now. People have wanted me to change and it annoys me.

“Do we ask Ramos to be someone else? We take him as he is; take me as I am. I’m proud that, at this World Cup, I have – in quotation marks – ‘accepted myself as I am’.”

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