France's World Cup winning defender Raphael Varane responds to criticism

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After displaying back-to-back solid performances for his national team, Raphael Varane has hit back at his critics.

Varane, who was a dominant force in France’s World Cup winning squad, alongside defensive partner Samuel Umtiti, believes he has answered criticism from those who think he is “too nice”.

“Since I was seven years old, they say ‘he’s nice, he’s nice’. Yes, I’m nice, but that’s not all I am,” said the Lille-born centre-back.

“You cannot have the career I’m having, staying at Real Madrid for seven years, without character.

At the age of just 25, the Real Madrid star has bagged 16 titles – Four Champions Leagues, three Club World Cups, three European Super Cups, two league titles, one Copa del Rey, two Spanish Super Cups and one World Cup; an achievement worth all the praise.

Ramos of Real Madrid celebrates with Rafael Varane

The Frenchman however believes that this World Cup, he made a point and sent out a message to those who had questioned his character and compared him to Los Blancos captain Sergio Ramos in the past.

“Sometimes, I was asked to play like [Sergio] Ramos, to play like any other, to be more aggressive, to be more this, more that.

“I have my style of play; it has not done too badly until now. People have wanted me to change and it annoys me.

“Do we ask Ramos to be someone else? We take him as he is; take me as I am. I’m proud that, at this World Cup, I have – in quotation marks – ‘accepted myself as I am’.”

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Watch: Beating Argentina helped us realise our potential, says World Cup winner Hugo Lloris

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France’s World Cup winning goalkeeper Hugo Lloris has admitted that it was the 4-3 win over Argentina in the last-16 that helped his team realise their true potential for the campaign ahead.

Didier Deschamps‘ side was trailing 2-1 after goals from Angel Di Maria and Gabriel Mercado had put Argentina ahead.

France later bounced back in some fashion though with a stunning strike from from Benjamin Pavard and a brace from young sensation Kylian Mbappe.

Hear what the Lloris had to say about that game, and how the test against Argentina helped his team go all the way in the tournament.

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Mbappe is a 'young alien', says France World Cup-winning team-mate Varane

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France star Raphael Varane has described World Cup hero Kylian Mbappe as “a young alien”.

The duo were instrumental in helping Les Bleus go all the way in Russia and the Real Madrid defender has heaped praise on the PSG superstar, who netted four goals in the finals and also managed to win the Best Young Player award.

“I have known some aliens. I think this is the first time I have met a young alien,” Varane joked in an interview with L’Equipe, stating that the 19-year-old’s ability is out of this world.

“Normally I meet extraterrestrials when they are 25, 30-years old. At the World Cup, I met one under the age of 20.

“With him, everything goes faster. When I talk tactically with him before the matches, I do not have time to finish my sentences before he has already understood and assimilated what I’m saying.”

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