Manchester United centre-back Raphael Varane has been named in the CIES Football Observatory’s team of the tournament for the World Cup in Qatar.
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The CIES posted their best 18-man squad from the tournament so far, with the entire team comprising players who had reached the semi-final stage.
As expected, the two finalists made up the bulk of the team, with seven French stars chosen and five Argentine stars selected. It was completed by four Moroccan stars and two Croatian players.
United sent 16 players to the World Cup, but only two of them got as far as the semi-final round. Lisandro Martinez came off the bench during Argentina’s victory over Croatia, while Varane starred in France’s win against Morocco.
Varane’s latest superb display on Wednesday was enough to earn him a place in the squad as one of five defenders selected.
The 29-year-old had been a huge doubt for the tournament having suffered a hamstring injury against Chelsea last month and missing United’s last five games.
Varane was also absent from France’s opening win over Australia, but he has since returned to the line-up and impressed with his commanding defensive performances.
He’ll be hoping to end the competition on a high against Argentina this weekend, and that could well depend on how he copes against Lionel Messi and Julian Alvarez, who were both also included in the team of the tournament.
CIES Football Observatory TOTT: Hugo Lloris; Achraf Hakimi, Raphael Varane, Nicolas Otamendi, Josko Gvardiol, Theo Hernandez; Azzedine Ounahi, Enzo Fernandez, Aurelien Tchouameni, Luka Modric, Hakim Ziyech, Antoine Griezmann, Alexis McAllister, Sofiane Boufal; Lionel Messi, Olivier Giroud, Julian Alvarez, Kylian Mbappe.