Real Madrid Vs. Barcelona, Copa del Rey 2013: Raphaël Varane Steals Every Headline

Alex Livesey

After a stunning performance in his El Clásico debut, Real Madrid's teenage centre-back is the centre of attention.

Raphaël Varane, whose speed, lightening quick reflexes and equalizing goal delighted the home fans, has stolen nearly every headline today – most especially from the delighted newspapers in his homeland.

L’Equipe is typical: Varane stopped Barcelona.

From ESPN:

His pace is frightening, as Messi and his teammates found out a number of times... A quick thinker, a step ahead of his teammates and a step ahead of his opponents too. Not many players can claim to have the world's best, in Messi, in their back pocket. Varane couldn't quite claim that accolade, but he was very close. Messi knew it.

All this at the tender age of 19 and in his first Clasico match. A match heaped in pressure. All this with a makeshift Madrid defence lining up against arguably the best attack in the world. The experienced Sergio Ramos suspended and both Pepe and Marcelo out injured -- the latter only fit enough for the bench. A regular midfielder Michael Essien plugging the gap at right back (and doing it pretty well), while regular right back Alvaro Arbeloa moved to the left.

The delighted teenager spoke with Real Madrid’s in-house media after this, his first Clásico.

Scoring here is an incredible feeling. It’s a dream come true to have done it at the age of 19...I still can’t believe what I did. The goal means the tie is still open...Mourinho didn’t give me any particular instruction he just said to give it my all...

In their editorial, As noted that the players expected to star were more subdued than usual. Messi seemed off the pace while Ronaldo picked up an ankle injury in the first ten minutes and couldn’t run it off properly. It was a perfect setting for Varane to show his talent. Alfredo Relaño also had words of praise for our newly returned goal keeper:

It'll be hard to see him [Varane} out of the team when Pepe and Sergio Ramos come back. As for the rest, Diego López provided a crucial save from Jordi Alba, with the score at 1-1, which will support his claims on this return to Madrid.

Other Voices

José Mourinho continued his habit of not speaking to the press after a win or draw.

Our assistant coach, Aitor Karanka addressed the press instead.

On Varane:

He was perfect...

On López:

He conveys calm... He has been playing in the First Division for many years and showed the quality that he has and that the team knows that he has. [On the selection] We had to choose one. The experience and calmness that Diego showed was clear and shows that we did not make a mistake. Antonio is still a great goalkeeper and we have confidence in him and for the remainder of the season we will keep making the best choice for the team.

Meanwhile, Xavi Hernández continues his project in self-parody:

We were better than them...we had chances to score we would normally score...they only had isolated chances...

The players have already returned to prepare for their next match, against Granada.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Managing Madrid

You must be a member of Managing Madrid to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Managing Madrid. You should read them.

Join Managing Madrid

You must be a member of Managing Madrid to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Managing Madrid. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9353_tracker