Raphael Varane: France must avoid comparisons to 2018 World Cup win


Despite several players returning to defend their Russia 2018 title, Raphael Varane says France must not compare themselves at Qatar 2022.

Raphael Varane says France must avoid comparing their current squad to the team that won the 2018 World Cup, after reaching the knockout stage at Qatar 2022.

Les Bleus are looking to defend the title they won in Russia and are in the last 16 after opening wins against Australia and Denmark in Group D.

Varane, who returned from an injury sustained on club duty with Manchester United to feature in his country’s second game, was a member of Didier Deschamps’ side that beat Croatia 4-2 in the final in Moscow four years ago.

But the centre-back says the current crop must avoid the pitfalls of measuring their current achievements against those set before, despite the presence of several World Cup-winning players.

“You have to avoid comparing too much,” he said. “This is another moment and you have to be present.

“Every big tournament has its history, with other players and context. Four years in football is an eternity.

“We can draw inspiration from before, from the state of mind we had then, but we must not try to copy.”

France, who face Tunisia in their final group game on Wednesday, will be without World Cup winner Lucas Hernandez for the rest of the tournament after he suffered a knee injury in their opening clash with Australia.

His brother Theo has since filled in at left-back, replacing Hernandez in the first half against Australia and continuing in the position against Denmark.

Reflecting on his sibling’s injury, Theo Hernandez stated that his brother asked for the World Cup to be brought back to him, saying, “I’ve talked to him every day since he left [the team].

“He tells me we have to win to give him back the World Cup. We’ll have to work hard to keep going like this.”

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