Rothen hits out at Varane for retiring from international football

‘You are doing something STUPID!’: Raphael Varane is labelled ‘a DISASTER’ for retiring from France duty aged 29 by former Les Bleus star Jerome Rothen – who claims he is quitting because ‘the atmosphere in the team must not be good’

  • Raphael Varane called time on his international career on Thursday
  • Jerome Rothen has criticised Varane, calling him ‘a disaster’ after his decision
  • The former France star feels he must be quitting due to a poor team atmosphere  

Former France star Jerome Rothen has slammed Raphael Varane’s decision to retire from international football at the age of 29 – calling him ‘a disaster’.

Varane’s shock announcement came on Thursday as he brought the curtain down on his decade-long international career with France which saw him earn 93 caps.

The Manchester United defender put his retirement down to ‘physical and psychological wear and tear’, but Rothen, who won 13 caps for Les Bleus between 2003 and 2007, is far from happy with Varane’s decision.

‘I think that at this age and when you play in a club that allows you to be at a very high level, you have a duty,’ he told Spanish outlet AS. 

‘It’s to bring your talent to your country. He’s a disaster. He has a long history, congratulations! He won the most beautiful of competitions, the World Cup in 2018. We saw all his contribution to the last World Cup.’

Raphael Varane announced his retirement from international football on Thursday

Jerome Rothen (pictured) has slammed Varane’s decision, labelling the defender ‘a disaster’

‘There was scepticism because he was coming off an injury, but he performed very well. But I tell myself: what a decision! It’s a disaster to hear that, not to wearing the national team shirt again at 29. He can’t do that. 

‘Raphael, don’t forget you brought a lot, but here you are doing something stupid! The competition? He put players in his pocket. It’s a major madness within this group.’

‘I can only think of one reason for him stopping at 29, it is because the atmosphere of the French must not be good. Which France national team player stopped at the age of 29?’ 

Varane played every minute of the 2018 World Cup as France won their second World Cup in Russia, and was then a key part of the side when they made it to the final in Qatar last year.

Rothen said he was making a ‘stupid’ decision at the age of 29 and suggesting he could be quitting due to a poor team atmosphere

He penned an emotional statement on Thursday, expressing his gratitude as he called time on his international career.

‘Representing our great country for a decade has been one of the greatest honors of my life. Each time I wore this special blue jersey, I felt immense pride,’ he wrote.

‘The duty to give everything, to play with my heart and to win every time we entered the field. I have been considering this for several months and have decided that it is the right time for me to retire from international football.

‘As a child, I remember following France 98, this team, these players who made us experience indescribable emotions. I dreamed of doing like our heroes and, 20 years later, I had one of the best experiences of my life, one that made me really proud.

‘We brought the Cup home!! I will never forget him. I still feel every single emotion I felt that day, July 15, 2018. It was one of the greatest and most memorable moments of my life.

‘This victory that we won together would never have been possible without the support of Didier Deschamps, of each of the members of the management and our staff during these years, of my teammates who defended our shirt at each of our matches. .

The 29-year-old Varane is now set to focus on his club career at Manchester United 

‘But more importantly, this victory would not have been possible without the support of each of you along this path. Your enthusiasm, the celebrations and the memories of our return to France will remain etched in my mind forever.

‘Even after the defeat in the final last year, with certainly a great run, you welcomed us as heroes when we returned. To each and every one of you, a thousand times THANK YOU!’

Manager Didier Deschamps accepted Varane’s decision and thanked the defender for his ‘unwavering commitment to the blue jersey’, as he now prepares to focus all his attention on playing for United at club level.

But Rothen sees things differently, and is clearly frustrated with Varane for walking away from his country less than 18 months before Euro 2024. 

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