Raphael Varane news: What are Varane’s tips for defenders in possession?

After playing at the highest level for several years, Varane has spoken about the evolution of the game, especially with the ball.

File photo - Raphael Varane during a training session with Manchester United; Credit: Twitter@ManUtd
By Karthik Raman | May 27, 2024 | 3 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

The game has evolved so much lately that every player on the pitch has a part to play in the team’s attack and defence. It is no longer limited to the midfielders and the attackers taking part in a team’s attacks but defenders and even goalkeepers play their role. The build-up phase is extremely important in modern football. This part of the game requires the defenders and the goalkeepers to be on the same page to effectively move the ball from the back.

Gone are the days when defenders were expected to only make tackles and clear the ball from the back. In the current scenario, they play an equally important role in possession. Raphael Varane, who has played for the likes of Manchester United and Real Madrid, has outlined the requirements to be a successful modern defender. After playing at the highest level for several years, Varane has spoken about the evolution of the game, especially with the ball.

What are Raphael Varane’s tips for defenders in possession?

“It’s very important. For me, when you don’t have pressure, you have to dribble a little bit to carry the ball, to force an opponent to press you. That makes free another player from your team and when you are under pressure, you have to see before where you want to pass the ball: to play one-touch or to control it in the right space, to pass the ball. Or you play very quick, very fast, or you have to force them to press you,” Varane, quoted on manutd.com, said in an interview, called ‘The Art of Defending.’

Varane spoke about the importance of defenders having the awareness around them in order to successfully execute the role. “As a defender you have to feel: where is the danger? Which space do you have to cover? Also how to anticipate the movement from the striker, especially in the box, because you don’t have that time to say ‘OK, I can recover after’, because the goal is close. You have to be aware about the distances with the striker. Read the game, read the players on the ball, whether he can pass the ball or not, whether he’s under pressure or not, so all of those kind of things,” he explained.

The Frenchman added: “It’s about being in the right position at the right moment and then it’s about timing. When I spoke with players who aren’t used to being at centre-back and they play there for the first time, I ask: how was it? The answer is always the same: ‘I feel tired, mentally tired!’ It’s because you’re always aware, you’re always moving and reading the game. You’re running a bit less maybe, which is not true at the moment, because all the players on the pitch are running more and more, with more intensity, but you have to be more alert, more focused, yeah.”

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