Raphael Varane says that he is not concerned by his ‘fit’ and ‘focused’ Real Madrid and France teammate Karim Benzema.
The striker is under continued scrutiny for recent form at club level, whilst his struggles in front of goal with Les Bleus saw him lose his starting berth in the last international break.
However, heading into this month’s fixtures with France, the 25-year-old has received backing from his Madrid colleague.
“We talk a lot. He is a hard worker,” mused Varane to Telefoot this week.
“I believe that he is fine physically. Mentally, he is focused on his objectives.
“I am not worried about him.”
Varane has only just been passed fit aftera five-and-a-half-months out following surgery on a knee injury, but has started Madrid’s last two games.
“It is flattering, it gives me the strength to continue on. I have the fortune of playing in one of the biggest clubs in the world, we have the best defenders and competition is fierce.
“I get along with [assistant Coach Zinedine] Zidane, who is at the club working and I am trying to evolve and to progress.”
The 20-year-old is also back with the France squad so soon after his lay-off.
“I want to succeed here. And I try to do so whenever I have the opportunity. I do not have a great amount of experience and I cannot be in a hurry.
“The national team is a challenge for me and I want to stay involved. The fact that [Coach Didier] Deschamps has called me is a mark of confidence. It makes me happy. It gives me confidence and is positive.”
Think you know your Spanish football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's World Cup tipster competition - £10,000 to be won!