Varane: Zidane is always positive, always confident

Real Madrid centre-back Raphael Varane has been an integral part in one of the most successful eras in the club’s history, yet he still recognises that he can learn from others.

His head coach, Zinedine Zidane, is one such person, with the defender heaping praise on him.

“Zizou is a great example to me,” Varane told DAZN.

“He’s very calm, always positive and believes in himself, in everything he does.”

Life as a Real Madrid player is not always easy, with the media and supporters analysing you every day, but the Frenchman recognises and accepts the pressure.

“Being a Real Madrid player means having little margin for error,” Varane explained.

“We have to know how to defend higher up, to put pressure on the opponents, and this leads us to have 50 meters of pitch behind us: that’s why we have to have the highest level of concentration.”

As well as Zidane, Varane also looked up to two of his former teammates at Real Madrid, as well as his current centre-back partner.

“I’m inspired by players like Pepe and Sergio Ramos, defenders like me, and Cristiano Ronaldo: he’s an example for any football player,” he revealed.

“I learned a lot from them. For example, from Sergio Ramos, I have taken the winning mentality.

“He finds encouragement every day, he always wants to win, even in training.

“He has experience and never loses motivation.”

Los Blancos have been without Eden Hazard since he picked up an injury in the 2-2 draw at home to Paris Saint-Germain on November 26, but Varane is clear about the Belgian’s ability.

“He’s integrating well, he’s an impressive talent,” he stated.

“Playing with him is a pleasure; on the pitch he makes the difference.”

There were some rumours in the summer linking Varane with a move away from the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, but he is just taking each year as it comes.

“Every year here is a big challenge,” Varane said.

“I’ve been with Real Madrid for eight years and at the start of each season it’s like starting from scratch.

“I restart myself in order to give my best.”