Manchester United centre-back Raphael Varane admits he’s not yet 100% fit after making his return to action in France’s 2-1 win against Denmark.
Having been an unused substitute in Les Bleus’ 4-1 win against Australia, France boss Didier Deschamps brought the 29-year-old into the starting line-up in place of Liverpool’s Ibrahima Konate versus Christian Eriksen’s Denmark.
The four-time Champions League winner was replaced by Konate with 15 minutes remaining with France drawing 1-1 before Kylian Mbappe scored the winner.
It was United’s number 19 first appearance in over a month after going off against Chelsea last month.
Raphael Varane admits he’s not yet 100% fit after making return to action
In a press conference, the former Real Madrid defender was asked whether he was apprehensive ahead of making his injury return, and whether he was confident his body would stand up to the test.
Speaking via L’Equipe, Varane said: “No particular apprehension, no, because from the moment the coach put me in charge, it was that I had no apprehension.
“It’s never easy to get back on a World Cup match but I was ready.
“Inevitably, I am not yet at 100% of my physical potential. I’ve been working hard to be here, and I hope to step up in this competition.”
The former Los Blancos star also explained why he was so emotional after hitting the Stamford Bridge turf towards the end of October.
The 88-time France international revealed that he feared his World Cup hopes were over after suffering an injury when attempting to tackle Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Varane added: “It was a difficult time. I thought then that the injury was more serious than expected, that it was over for the World Cup.
“From the moment the diagnosis was playable, I switched to express mode. It took a lot of effort, a lot of sacrifice to be ready in the timings.
“Today, I enjoy every moment. It is always extraordinary to defend the colours of your country, to represent France. I had a lot of desire and rage to win.”
France, who have already qualified for the last-16, play Hannibal Mejbri’s Tunisia in their final Group D game on Wednesday.
Varane will be hoping to get more minutes under his belt against the Eagles of Carthage ahead of facing sterner tests in the knockout stages.