Varane aiming for more minutes

Raphael Varane wants to play more often for Real Madrid but accepts the situation. ‘Everyone knows we have quality centre-backs.’

Varane has been a regular part of Carlo Ancelotti’s XI in recent weeks after injuries and rotations saw first-choice pair Sergio Ramos and Pepe miss out.

“I appreciate the Coach showing confidence in me for critical games,” Varane said, according to AS, citing specifically the Champions League quarter-final with Atletico Madrid.

“When there is an opportunity, players have to respond effectively. I have to admit, I’m in a good moment.

“My goal is to get more and more minutes, to be more important to the team. That will only be achieved gradually and with a lot of work.

“Everyone knows there are high quality players at centre-back here. For me this is a challenge every day.

“It’s therefore very important I seize every opportunity that presents itself.”

Varane also touched on Madrid’s title aspirations, both in light of the win over Almeria and the weekend fixture with Sevilla.

“I think each of the remaining games can be decisive. The League is so tight there is no margin for error,” he continued.

“It’s true we weren’t in a good dynamic against Almeria, particularly the first half. We lacked rhythm to impose ourselves on the game.

“But we did what we had to do because the result was very good, so we keep the pressure on Barcelona.

“We know we have to be 100% focused on football and play every game as if it’s the last.”

Regarding the Champions League, Varane welcomed the challenge of playing Juventus and admitted he was sorry international teammate Paul Pogba was likely to miss out.

“Juventus are at the highest level. It’s a Champions League semi-final and will be very complicated,” he added.

“I hope I start and I’m looking forward to the game. I would be very lucky to play in this game and I know I have to do my best.

“I don’t think Juve are an easier opponent than Bayern Munich or Barca. At this level, the details make the difference.

“It’s obvious Pogba is a great player and he’s going to be missed by Juve. Personally, I would have liked to face him.”

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