Varane present at France's first Qatar training session

Friday 18 November 2022 14:57

Manchester United defender Raphael Varane was seen going through a series of individual drills during France’s first training session in Doha on Thursday evening.

The United centre-back has been out of action since suffering an injury during our 1-1 draw at Chelsea last month but looks to be progressing well ahead of kick-off in France’s World Cup campaign in Qatar.

Les Bleus face Australia in their Group D opener on Tuesday (19:00 GMT) and it is likely to be a race against time for the 29-year-old to be ready.

But, as a video posted on the tournament holders’ official Twitter account earlier today shows, Varane looks to be continuing to step up his recovery, working alongside recent Ballon d’Or winner and Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema, who has also spent a recent period on the sidelines.


Raphael was a key part of the France side that lifted the trophy in 2018 and manager Didier Deschamps will no doubt be keen to have the experienced defender available for selection again as soon as possible. 

After their opening match against Australia in Al Wakrah, Les Bleus face another of their group-stage opponents from four years ago in the form of Denmark (26 November), before their third and final game of the phase versus Tunisia (30 November). 
On Monday, Deschamps spoke about Varane’s fitness, admitting that he expects the United man to be available from the start of their campaign.

"He is in the process. He accentuated his athletic work. He touched the ball again," he said, in a press conference before the team flew to Qatar.

"There are still some stages he has to pass until Thursday [yesterday, their first training session in the host country].

"He is okay. He is in good spirits and feels good sensations. He is supposed to be available for the first game."

It remains to be seen when Raphael will return to team training with the current World champions, as their preparations for matchday one continue, with the latest reports claiming he will not join the main group session on Friday evening.