2018 World Cup winner Raphaƫl Varane has quit playing for France aged 29

Raphael Varane has stunned French football by announcing his retirement from international duty - despite being touted as their next captain.

The Manchester United defender was a key figure in helping Les Bleus lift the 2018 World Cup in Russia, and has ]made 93 caps for his country over the last decade. 

His retirement continues to mark the end of an era for the French national team, after Tottenham keeper Hugo Lloris also announced his retirement from international duty last month.  

France had intended to hand Varane the captain's armband in place of Lloris but in a statement on Twitter the Manchester United defender has put a swift end to those plans.

With the retirements of two experienced figures within the camp, Get French Football News have reported that Kylian Mbappe is expected to be named as the next captain of France.

France manager Didier Deschamps in his own statement revealed that Varane called him a few days to explain his decision.

He hailed Varane as an 'intelligent boy' and remembered how the defender quickly became a regular for his side when he was a youngster at Real Madrid.

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