With Hugo Lloris sitting for this match, the captain’s band was given to Raphael Varane. France had already qualified for the Round of 16, but 1st place in Group C was still up for grabs.
Didier Deschamps decided to sit some of his starters, including Umtiti, Lloris, and Mbappe. It was clear both France and Denmark were completely satisfied with drawing in this match, since Peru were already eliminated. It was also unlikely Australia would advance prior to losing to Peru.
Varane again was stellar in a fairly defensive game that didn’t have much offense going. France had a few chances, but only three shots on target all match. They seemed to look better on the attack when Mbappe was subbed on towards the end of the match.
With Umtiti sitting, Varane was paired with Presnel Kimpembe. They looked good paired together, but Umtiti is still clearly the better partnership with Varane. He was key in breaking up passes from the Danish attack and limited their shots on target to one.
France only needed a draw to win Group C, and that’s just the result they got. They will play on Saturday against the runner-up in Group D, which is currently Nigeria. Their opponent will likely be determined by what happens in today’s match between Argentina and Nigeria. The situation becomes even tougher if Iceland manages to beat Croatia.
This will likely be the only time we see Varane with the armband this World Cup, but it shows just how much he is valued given how young he still is. He certainly earned it, and he will certainly continue to show his talent moving into the Round of 16. He will be key in France’s conquest of winning this year’s World Cup.