Didier Deschamps, France’s manager, has confirmed that Manchester United defender Raphael Varane will be available for the team’s World Cup opener against Australia on Tuesday evening..
The centre-back, who helped Les Blues win the tournament in Russia in 2018, suffered a hamstring injury during United’s 1-1 draw with Chelsea last month at Stamford Bridge. He landed awkwardly when attempting to rob the ball off the toes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, causing him to almost cry on the pitch, clearly believing that his World Cup hopes were over..
Although United manager Erik ten Hag confirmed that he would miss all of the Reds’ remaining fixtures before the World Cup, he did say that the former Real Madrid man had a good chance of competing in Qatar.
“He will be out, certainly until the World Cup, so he will not play for Manchester United in this block,” Ten Hag said last month. “I believe [he will be able to play in the World Cup], but we must wait and see.”
Despite the uncertainty, Varane was named to France’s 26-man squad for the tournament and arrived in Qatar with his teammates earlier this week..
He has been working on an individual training program, which was confirmed on Thursday when he trained separately from the main group alongside Karim Benzema, who has since been ruled out of the tournament.
Varane, on the other hand, is in contention to play against Australia on Tuesday, providing France with a huge boost after a string of injuries in recent days.
“Raphael Varane was putting in a lot of work in training,” Deschamps said. “He’ll be available for our opener against Australia.”
The defender, who has been outstanding for United so far this season, started all seven of France’s World Cup matches and was named captain in their final group game against Denmark. He also appeared on five occasions.
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