Raphaël Varane has become an International Star overnight after his sensational performance versus Barcelona.
This young kid not only helped keep Madrid in the game, but he scored a goal as well. He was named Man of The Match and also became the second youngest foreign player to score for Madrid in a Clasico. A well deserved award for his brilliant play. He was praised internationally for his calm attitude and scintillating performance throughout the match.
As most of you Madridistas should know, our team was missing key players to the back-line and although the team was playing much better since the break, Barcelona was the favorite to win this match. However, Mou decided to insert a very young French center back by the name of Raphaël Varane. Now, if you are a true fan you would have already seen some of his bright moments in the league last year. One is the back heel goal versus Rayo Vallecano or as I called it the scorpion kick. The second was versus Real Sociedad in which he also had many well-timed tackles that stopped them and even set a counterattack with a perfect pass to Higuain who then crossed it for Ronaldo to score. There is no doubt that Zenedine Zidane was right in picking this kid who could be the future captain of Madrid for years to come.
Anyways, I will be recapping those 4 vital plays in the game made by our starlet Raphaël Varane.
Vital Play 1#.
The first vital play came in the 22 minute of play. Arbeloa was being pressured by Xavi and decided to pass to Carvalho who does not seem to see Fabregas just a foot behind him. Carvahlo then proceeds to make a lame slow pass to Diego Lopez which is intercepted easily and passed to an on rushing Xavi for a shot on goal. Xavi takes his shot low which is then cleared off the line by Varane. This was a crucial save because if this had not been saved, we could have been down after having the better opportunities in the first minutes.
Vital Play 2#.
It was 55:00 minutes into the match and Madrid had just missed two glorious chances to take the lead which were squandered by Benzema. This play came after a wonderful lofted pass by Andres Iniesta to an onrushing Fabregas who seemed almost certain to net his second when again Raphael Varane catches up to him from behind and does a perfect tackle. This tackle was done in the penalty box on Fabregas who could have easily gotten a penalty had he missed the ball. Nevertheless, Varane shows off why he was trusted by Mourinho and delivers again saving Madrid and keeping them i it. Fabregas could only lift his face off the ground in shock of what had just occurred. Diego Lopez then quickly runs to get the ball and play resumes.
Vital Play 3#.
The third vital play was really a perfect example of how to do a text-book tackle. When you are learning the game, this tackle is one of the hardest to master and at 19, Varane already shows how he has the skill down. Lets take some time to digest that this tackle which was made on the best player in the world right now Lionel Messi. Messi had been frustrated all day with Varane shadowing his every move. Mourinho trusted Varane's ability to keep track on the back-line & Messi which is very remarkable for such a young player. This happened around the 70th minute when the game seemed to be tilting in Barcelona's favor. Messi began on one of his trademark runs and had just gotten passed Khedira and had made Carvalho fall and look silly. This would end differently though because Varane was man to stop him. He kept pace with Messi and timed his tackle perfectly leading to a look of astonishment by Messi who could not believe what had happened. Varane was not finished though as he would continue his great performance with another key play next.
Vital Play 4#.
As if Varane had not done enough to win Man of the Match, he goes on to produce a clutch goal in the final minutes(80:42 minutes had passed) of the Classico and snatched victory from Barcelona's grasp. Ozil had just won a free kick at the edge of the line and Madrid chose to put their tallest players in the box. Cristiano, Carvalho, Varane, and Higuain stood anxiously waiting for Ozil's cross to come. Ozil saw that Fabregas & Puyol were marking Varane and quickly chose to give the big man an opportunity to score after having a brilliant game. Boom! A thumping header. Varane had not only drawn Madrid level but sent the Bernabéu & its 80,000+ fans in a frenzy. Everyone rushed to congratulate Varane & CR7 hugged him with a smile. After the goal, Madrid looked energized with adrenaline pumping in their veins and kept the majority of the possession trying to win the game. It ended a tie and Varane's goal set up and enticing second leg at the Camp Mou.
Thanks for reading and leave your opinion on which play you thought was the most impressive. Hope to see another victory this weekend against Granada. HALA MADRID!