In the 56th minute, we saw him slide to cut out Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s shooting path, then lose support and lay flat on his stomach, almost motionless. Raphael Varane took a long time to get up and it was a disappointment, if a little painful. The defender of the France team and Manchester United knows his body, has fought with it for years, fought with injuries, fought with healing times: on the way to break down in tears, to hide his crying and sadness in the jersey. The Blues’ vice-captain was certain to miss the World Cup at this point, a month ahead of the France squad’s November 22 match against Australia.
The nightmare of Euro 2016 in mind
Four or five minutes later, he was booed and booed profusely by a Chelsea crowd indifferent to his punishment. The Blues’ staff immediately interpreted the fact that he could walk in front of the TV, amid a sea of concerns, as a positive sign, and the medical staff had to contact their Mancunian colleagues that evening.
But a month before the World Cup, this injury and the way the player has been feeling it are very bad signs. As per our information, Raphael Varane has a hamstring injury in his right thigh and it is necessary to get an idea of the healing time, to know the extent of the muscle damage and whether he is still ill. A chance to play the third World Cup of his career. Erik ten Haag, his coach, remained deliberately vague: “It’s too early to know. I can understand that he’s moved a lot because he’s been through so many injuries, but we have to wait, let our medical staff do their job and establish a diagnosis. »
Ten Haag is partly to blame for the injury, which forced him to play three full matches in seven days, and everyone knows the Frenchman needs to handle himself, and to have chained matches at this level after all he’s been through is already a miracle. . In comparison, Chelsea manager Graham Potter rested Thiago Silva in midweek.
The France team may be missing a defensive square in 2018
Closer to the World Cup, Raphael Varane faces another setback in an era when every top-level player fears injury, missing Euro 2016 when he looked set to make history from the second. Or the third match: However, Didier Deschamps always had a policy, he recalled recently, of not taking a player unfit for the first group match to the final stage. Varane may not be fully fit in a month, but he needs to be fully recovered and his cries at Stamford Bridge this afternoon suggest he doesn’t believe that.
Kante’s forfeit, Pogba in an uncertain race against time, Varane awaiting judgment, Umtiti missing from the international scene: the French team will lose the defensive square that made it famous and crowned in Qatar in 2018.