Initially, it seemed that Raphael Varane had scored both goals in Real Madrid’s impressive away win over Getafe on Saturday. In the end, the opener was credited to Getafe goalkeeper, David Soria, with the opposition shot-stopper punching into his own net under pressure from the French defender.
Nonetheless, this was a match that illustrated just how important Varane is to Real Madrid at this moment. With Sergio Ramos ruled out of the match through suspension it was up to the Frenchman to lead the defence against an opponent up for the fight. Getafe have enjoyed an exceptional season so far and the Coliseum Alfonso Perez has become one of the toughest places in Spanish football to visit.
Eder Militao looked uncomfortable with the intensity and ferocity of Getafe’s high press in the first half, but Varane was a calming influence alongside the Brazilian youngster. Over the course of the match, Real Madrid steadied and this was largely down to the performance of Varane.
He also carries a goal threat, as demonstrated in the goal he scored and the other he forced in the 3-0 win over Getafe on Saturday. That is similar to that also posed by Ramos, but there are signs that Varane is starting to usurp the Real Madrid captain as the club’s defensive bedrock. Varane is becoming the player Zidane is building his team on.
“I already said that you have to be calm in front of goal,” Zidane explained after the Getafe win, underlining how many scoring options his team has. “You have to be calm because sometimes the ball does not fit. And with goals today from Varane, it shows that we have many resources to score. For us, it is important to win here because it is a very complicated league. The boys have been plugged in since minute one with great intensity.”
This hasn’t stemmed speculation linking the 26-year-old with an exit from the Santiago Bernabeu. Indeed, Varane’s name has become a staple of the gossip column in recent years. Tottenham are the latest club to be linked with the Frenchman, with Jose Mourinho reported to be a fan of his former player.
However, Real Madrid would be extremely foolish to sell their best defender. At 26, Varane is coming into his peak years while at Ramos is well into his twilight as a professional. If they are to place their faith in one over the year at this point, it has to be the former. He represents the defensive future of the Spanish club. In fact, he’s the present as well.
How well do you know European Football? Want to challenge the best Spanish Fantasy Managers? Play www.liga-fantasy.com now.