Raphael Varane and Paul Pogba.

'Champions League Varane' explained

Thursday 26 August 2021 16:00

We've all seen the video of Paul Pogba beating a makeshift drum and chanting 'Champions League Varane' in the France dressing room at the World Cup.

Now he's explained that the elegant central defender is simply made for the competition, one he won four times during his stay at Real Madrid.

With United about to discover this year's group-stage opponents, there is a real focus on competing with Europe's elite again and Varane's experience, quality and composure should come in very useful when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men go into battle on the continent.

So what about the 'Champions League Varane' chant, which came as Paul paid tribute to his international colleagues with a song, also including 'captain' Hugo Lloris and 'half-volley' Benjamin Pavard, in a raucous post-match dressing room, following the final win over Croatia in 2018?

“That’s just Champions League Varane," said our brilliant no.6. "He’s made for that, you know? He won four Champions Leagues, he won the World Cup, he won how many trophies? He won La Liga.

“It’s great and I’m sure he came here with the goal to win the Premier League. He’s very focused, you can tell, and he’s determined to help the team as much as he can.”

Pogba admits that even hearing the official Champions League pre-match anthem is special as it is clearly a competition that means so much to the midfielder.

With fans back at Old Trafford, those European evenings under the floodlights are not too far away now and the Reds are determined to progress to the knockout stages after moving into the Europa League last season, and being beaten by Villarreal on penalties in the final.

Paul Pogba admits even the Champions League anthem is special.

"It’s the Champions League," Pogba told club media. "Just the anthem of the Champions League is something else. Everybody knows about it. Everyone wants to play in the Champions League and everyone wants to win the Champions League so, for us, it means a lot.

“Being there again this season, we have to do for sure better than the last year and I’m sure we’re going to do it. We have to stay focused. It’s Champions League and Premier League.”