Karim Benzema is delighted with the progress shown by Raphael Varane for Real Madrid and France this season.
The defensive starlet forced his way into Jose Mourinho's first team this season ahead of the established Pepe, and his compatriot feels the 19-year-old's impressive displays are a sign of things to come at both domestic and international level.
"He is a very good player who I have a great affection for," Benzema told Foot Mercato.
"He has played in Madrid and has managed to impose his quality when given the opportunity. Now he is in the process of doing the same for France. He is already a great defender at only 19. As I said, he has all the attributes to become a mainstay of the team.
"He managed to stop [Lionel] Messi, but he was not the only one, he's done very well against other great strikers. He just goes out and plays his game."
The former Olympique Lyonnais star also believes French football will benefit from the rise to prominence of Paris Saint-Germain and AS Monaco, who have attracted some of the game's biggest stars to Ligue 1 in the past 12 months.
"I do not know if it is good for Ligue 1, but I do think it is good for French football," he said of the big-spending duo. "Clubs are needed to reach the final stages of the Champions League so that the French league is more recognized in Europe."