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Varane wants more big-game experience

Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane has spoken of his disappointment at his minimal role in the club’s run to the Champions League final.

The France international started five of Madrid’s six group games, as well as the 2-0 win over Roma in the last-16 first leg.

But Varane’s inclusion in the remaining games was limited to a sole appearance as a stoppage-time substitute in the 3-0 quarter-final second-leg win over Wolfsburg.

Madrid subsequently booked their place in the final against city rivals Atletico by seeing off Manchester City in the semis, but with Sergio Ramos and Pepe an established central defensive partnership, Varane looks likely to be watching on from the bench again at San Siro.

“Up until November I played practically every match,” he told AFP. “It’s also fair to say that I did make a few mistakes which I don’t normally make.

“But looking back over the season as a whole, there’s no point in focusing on that – it’s outweighed by the positive things which happened.

“It’s true that I would have liked to have been a part of the more decisive games at the end of the season – especially in the Champions League.

“After five years at Real Madrid, I hope I am able to overcome any kind of obstacle. I feel I’m at a crucial point in my career.

“I think all players need to feel as though they are developing – it’s important to feel you are making progress and that’s something I aim to do every day. I am aware of what qualities I have and what I am capable of.”

Following the Champions League showdown, Varane will turn his focus to clinching Euro 2016 glory on home soil with France.

“We are capable of beating anyone and competing with the best,” he said. “We are going to prepare well for the tournament.

“We’ve got all we need to go into the Euros in good shape. Experiencing the Euros in France is a great motivation for us. And I hope I can give the best of myself.”

Wed 18 May, 2016
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