‘I love challenges’ – Varane sets his sights on Euro 2020 glory

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The Real Madrid man is seeking more glory on the international stage, though he knows it will not come easy

France centre-back Raphael Varane wants to replicate his country’s World Cup success in the 2020 European Championship.

A 4-2 victory over Croatia in the final made Les Bleus world champions for a second time, with the Real Madrid defender vice captain.

He does not believe it is arrogant to target further success in 18 months, when he side will try to win the European title that they last claimed in 2000.

“It’s not a fault in football to be ambitious, far from it” he told Voix du Nord. “We can win it, although it will be very difficult. There’s a lot expected of us, which we saw in our recent friendlies and in the League of Nations matches.

“We cannot hide and we know that teams who play us will be very motivated. But we’re capable and we’re going to do everything to get there. We must take things day by day and not lose our heads.”

A secret to France’s ongoing success, he claims, is the versatility in the squad.

“This is a team that’s capable,” he said when asked if it’s possible for this side to dominate world football. “Firstly because it’s young, but especially because it’s a squad capable of evolving. We played in a certain way in the World Cup. But we can play in a totally different way next time. Keeping the same mindset, which is a strength.

“Even if you can play in different systems, play higher up the field, what you need is to keep the right state of mind, be competitors and think only of the team.”

Meanwhile, he has enjoyed the status of vice-captain he has been given by Didier Deschamps, despite being only 25.

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“I love challenges,” he affirmed. “I think it’s a responsibility and I’ve been used to responsibilities very early. The coach gave me the armband for the first time when I was 21.

“I try to give the squad my peace of mind, my experience of big competitions and to be myself.”

Varane has won 54 caps for France and has scored three goals.

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