Man Utd star reveals the worrying reason why he has missed so many games since arriving at Old Trafford

Manchester United defender Raphael Varane admits that his body is damaged from a concussion he sustained nearly a decade ago
Man Utd star Raphael Varane has opened up about his injury struggles.Man Utd star Raphael Varane has opened up about his injury struggles.
Man Utd star Raphael Varane has opened up about his injury struggles.

Manchester United and France star Raphael Varane has opened up about his struggles with concussion that have forced him to miss large chunks of the season. The former Real Madrid centre back has been one of the most successful footballers in the European game for the last decade having joined the Spanish giants as a teenager - winning four Champions Leagues, two La Liga titles, one Copa Del Rey - whilst also becoming a World Cup winner with France in 2018.

The 30-year-old has failed to reach the same heights since his move to Manchester United in 2021 and has only managed to win one League Cup in three seasons.

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Varane has struggled with various injuries since the move and claims he has been risking his health for a significant portion of his career since taking a blow to the head in a World Cup game in 2014. The defender confirmed that the same symptoms still affect his game today and admits that it forced him to withdraw from a United fixture earlier in the season.

He told French outlet L’Equipe: “During a match, I performed a series of headers, and in the days that followed I felt abnormal fatigue as well as severe eye fatigue. “I reported to the staff that I was not fit to play and they strongly recommended that I not play. I took a test from a doctor, the results of which were passed on to the staff and I did not play for the following match. “But if I hadn’t asked to take these tests, I probably would have been lined up for a few days later and, to be honest, I felt bad that I didn’t play the next game because of a migraine.”

Varane also revealed that“I wasn’t going to miss a World Cup quarter-final because I was a little tired. I felt eye fatigue fatigue. Looking back, I say to myself; if I had know it was a concussion, would I have said it, even if it meant not playing this match? The staff wondered if I was suitable. I was diminished, but ultimately I played rather well, even if I lost this duel against Matts Hummels (for Germany’s winning goal)."

“What we know is what would have happened if I had taken another impact to the head. When you know that repeated concussions have a potentially fatally effect, you tell yourself that things can go very wrong.”

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Reflecting on the incident, Varane claimed that he has damaged his body. The Frenchman added: “I don't know if I will live to be 100, but I know that I have damaged my body.”

Varane, expressing concern for his seven-year-old son, says he supports the idea of underage players being banned from heading the ball and would also be in favour of limits placed on professional players in training. But he admits it is not a hot topic among players, because “we are used to pain, we are a bit like soldiers, tough guys, symbols of physical strength, but these are symptoms that are quite invisible.”

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