Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane talked to French newspaper Le Parisien and shared his thoughts on coach Zinedine Zidane, Karim Benzema and the upcoming clash against Manchester City in the return leg of the Champions League’s Round of 16.
“I wouldn’t say this has been Benzema’s best season ever because I know him since 10 years ago, but I’m glad he’s this happy. He’s been out of this world, he’s at the peak of his craft and in such a tough spot. He’s embraced his role as the leader of the offensive line,” said Varane.
The defender was asked about Madrid’s upcoming visit to Manchester City.
“We’ve definitely gained some confidence now, this is Real Madrid and everything is possible. Hope is always there although we know it will be tough. We know it will be a tough game but we are looking forward to it, we owe it to our fans. We can’t predict the score but we will fight until the very end,” explained the Frenchman.
Varane and Zidane are very close and the defender tried to explain Zidane’s influence in the team.
“He has the ability to make possible what’s impossible and his career is truly exceptional. He’s an inspiration to all of us and his past as a player is always there. He doesn’t need to talk much and when he does he says something very moving. He lets us know his trust and makes us calm, he’s our leader,” he said.
Varane wrapped up the interview by taking a look at his performances this season.
“I feel more mature, more complete and versatile in my game. My career started very soon and you need time and experience in this position. Sometimes we forget about my age and a central defender usually reaches his peak when he’s 28 or 30 years old. I’m 27 so I’m getting closer. This one was definitely a better season than the past one, when he got here after an intense World Cup. It’s normal to have highs and lows during your career. From that perspective, it’s true that the quarantine allowed us to regroup and get fresh again,” concluded Varane.