Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane has voiced his admiration for Jose Mourinho and suggested he would not be the same player if it were not for the current Chelsea manager.
The France international,22, joined Real from Lens in 2011 and initially struggled to secure regular first-team football at the Santiago Bernabeu.
However, a training-ground discussion with Mourinho made him realise that he could not afford to take it easy and that he had to give his all if he was to succeed in the Spanish capital.
“During my second season at Real Madrid, Jose Mourinho gave me a kick up my arse,” Varane told Le Journal du Dimanche.
“I was not doing well and I was unable to do the things I wanted to do on the pitch. So he took it up with me. He asked why I wasn’t running more in training. At first I was not impressed, but I eventually realised he was right. I had to do more.
“Mourinho always hits the right spot. He does not need long speeches. He is precise and very direct. He was doing it for my own benefit.
“I need to question myself to reach my best form. Without this pressure, I tend to rest on my laurels and don’t push myself.”
Varane has started both of Real Madrid’s Liga encounters so far this term, featuring alongside Sergio Ramos at centre-back.