Manchester United central defender Raphael Varane is as decorated an individual player as you’ll find in all of world football. On the club level, he’s won: the UEFA Champions League four times, La Liga three times, the Club World Cup four times and the UEFA Super Cup four times.
With France, he’s won a World Cup, and appeared in two title game matches. His long list of winners’ medals conveys just how much he truly knows about what winners are really made of.
Manchester United at Crystal Palace FYIs
Kickoff: Wednesday Jan 18, 8pm, Selhurst Park
Transatlantic Passage: How the Premier League Redefined Soccer in America: LINK
Premier League Form Guide: Man United WWWWW Crystal Palace LLWLL
Premier League Position: Man United 4th, 38 pts Crystal Palace 12th, 22 pts
Google Result Probability: Man United 53% Crystal Palace 25% Draw 22%
So does he think that his current United team are bona fide title contenders?
“Everything is possible,” Varane responded to a reporter asking that query.
“We’ll just take it game by game. It’s a long way to go and it’s very difficult. The intensity of every game is incredible, the physical effort.
“It’s like the same intensity of a big Champions [League] game every game. The rhythm is very high. The players are very well prepared physically. We know how difficult it is. But we’re solid, we’re strong. We just need to use the quality players with the ball.”
Varane and United visit Crystal Palace tomorrow, and if they win, they’ll move into second place. There is still some significant distance though between United and league leaders Arsenal though.
However, this weekend brings a huge clash between United and the Gunners, and should the Red Devils achieve a result in this match, the title race would be set to become a lot more interesting.
Paul M. Banks is the owner/manager of The Sports Bank. He’s also the author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America,” and “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry.”
He’s written for numerous publications, including the New York Daily News, Sports Illustrated and the Chicago Tribune. He regularly appears on NTD News and WGN News Now. Follow the website on Twitter and Instagram.