Varane: They told me I was too kind to succeed, not bad enough

4.1.2020.  
Varane: They told me I was too kind to succeed, not bad enough

For someone who is an important part of Real Madrid since 2011, Raphael Varane is a mystery. The 26-year-old centre-back is rarely speaking with the media and is as below the radar as a Real Madrid player can be. Now, the French defender has done a lengthy interview with Onze Mondial and spoke about several different interesting topics.


Varane, who had an early start at the elite level, joining Real as a teenager, spoke about talent and its perception in youth teams.


"Talent is only a small part of a career. The mind is most important. But I don't think I'm psychologically unique. You have guys at the age of 10 who you see and say, 'This one will succeed.' It wasn't me. I was good, but I wasn't a phenomenon. Ever since I was little, I was told I had no psyche to succeed. I was too nice, I was not bad enough. They said I wasn't tough enough. The more problems I had, the less they believed in me, but then the more I reacted to it, the better I was. I had the best seasons when I was going up the ladder, and the worst when I was playing in my age categories," said Varane before stating that he was even doubted upon joining the Lens first team.



Now, the calm 26-year-old is playing for arguably the biggest club in the world, which brings a different kind of challenge.


"It's a different pressure. You have a lot of newspapers, TV and radio shows every day... And events in Real life often have a global impact. It's a global club. The pressure inside is huge too, and the fans are extremely demanding. Winning is good, but it's never enough. Here you can always improve something in the game. A tie is a disaster. The standards are higher than any other club. We feel it and we live with it. But not all players can live with it. I've seen players who can't handle it, because it sometimes affects your head."


At Santiago Bernabeu, Varane trained and played with Cristiano Ronaldo.


"He's brilliant... In human and football terms, I don't have words for him anymore. He's done something special: he's made huge achievements normal, even banal. There are no words to explain this madness... He's special, he's huge. He taught me a lot and also surprised me. I don't know how many times I have spoken to myself: 'Wow, what a power'," concluded Varane.



Another aspect of the mind's importance to football is the approach to injuries and recovery. Varane explained to the lengths he goes to be fit.


"I thought injuries were an accident. But I started to look for changes in certain behaviours and things. I had the same breakfast for 23 years. During one evening I said to myself that it didn't work, that I was injured because of it, and I made changes in it [laughter]. I really changed some behaviours overnight. For now, it is going well, but I am looking for further development and improvement all the time. I'm doing the best I can. We all give in to massages, but I go on: I try to work on my figure, on my joints, on my overall balance. I'm looking for muscle balance. I try to anticipate where muscle tensions can occur and when I feel they are coming, I try to deal with them as quickly as possible so that the muscle does not suffer."



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