When United face Real Madrid at the Bernabeu this Wednesday all eyes will be on a certain Portuguese winger who once dazzled the Old Trafford faithful on a regular basis- and I’m not talking about Nani.
Ronaldo may be the name on everyone’s lips and more than likely the player who – unfortunately – could have a big influence on the game, but there’s one player in Madrid’s side who could also have a big say in the outcome and may have been wearing the Red of United if things had been different.
Centre back Raphael Varane could well be chosen ahead of Pepe in Real Madrid’s starting XI following should he recover from a hamstring injury he picked up in the recent loss to Grenada. Before that knock it seemed Varane had gatecrashed Mourinho’s plans after producing a Man of the Match performance in the first leg of the El Clasico cup game.
Varane was a target for United when he was at Lens after impressing after only a handful of games, but it seems the talented youngster preferred a move to Madrid who paid ten million euros for the then 17 year-olds services. Varane may have only played 13 games for Los Blancos this season but he’s already been earning high praise.
Ronaldo: “Varane is now learning a lot. He has grown as a player and as a man,
“He is quick, he has good composure and he is very calm.”
Mourinho: “In Varane you have a top central defender for the next 10 years.”
With Jonny Evans, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones United seemingly have enough young central defenders to carry them through the next several years but a talent as classy as Varane may well have been one suited perfectly for Old Trafford.