Raphael Varane

Read Varane's motivational message

Wednesday 16 March 2022 15:37

Raphael Varane has promised Manchester United will come back stronger from Tuesday’s Champions League defeat to Atletico Madrid.

Renan Lodi’s first-half goal at Old Trafford ensured the Spanish champions progressed to the quarter-finals at our expense, with a 2-1 aggregate victory.

Varane's defence was only breached once, but it proved decisive, as the Brazilian left-back netted shortly before half-time, even if the Reds were largely untroubled by the Madrid side after they took the lead.

Highlights: United v Atletico Madrid Video

Highlights: United v Atletico Madrid

Watch two minutes of match action from our Champions League last-16 clash at Old Trafford...

The France international came closest to getting United back into the tie, as his 77th-minute header was brilliantly saved by Atleti goalkeeper Jan Oblak and he finished the game wearing the captain’s armband, after skipper Harry Maguire was substituted for Juan Mata.

Our no.19 showed his leadership with a post on Instagram on Wednesday, as he insisted that the Reds must stick together.

The Champions League exit may mean no silverware will be claimed this season, but a top-four place is still a target and, after thanking the fans for their support, Varane said the fight for that must continue.

“We will not point fingers, fight each other or complain,” Rapha wrote. “We can reflect on the season when the battle is finished.

“The atmosphere last night was incredible, we will fight for everything for this club until the last minute of the season.

“Failure is a foundation of victory. Proud to defend @manchesterunited.”

Next up for Varane is a couple of international friendlies with France, although Les Bleus are yet to confirm their squad.

The reigning world champions face games against Ivory Coast in Marseille and South Africa in Paris, with qualification for the Qatar 2022 tournament already secured.