Raphael Varane is in the running for the Young Player of the World Cup it has been announced.
FIFA revealed the shortlist of three players includes the Real Madrid defender, his international colleague Paul Pogba, and Holland’s Memphis Depay. The winner of the award will be announced after the World Cup final between Germany and Argentina tonight.
Varane played in all but one of France’s matches in the tournament and impressed as Les Bleus reached the quarter-finals conceded just three goals along the way. The defender, who arrived at the Santiago Bernabeu from Lens when Jose Mourinho in charge, has been highly regarded at the club and in European football for some time, but his performances in Brazil have made the world sit up and take note.
To be in contention for the award is a proud moment for Varane, who has had to overcome a couple of serious injuries in the past couple of years. But he showed in Brazil that he is close to replicating the form he was in back in the 2012/13 season in Spain.
Pobga, a one time target of Real Madrid, put in some impressive performances for France and netted the opening goal the 2-0 win over Nigeria in the second half. Depay, meanwhile, started the tournament on the bench for Holland but after a superb cameo role against Australia, he cemented his place in the side and became the youngest player to start for his country since 1938 when he played against Costa Rica in the quarter-final.