Former France international Jerome Rothen has hit out at Man Utd defender Raphael Varane for retiring from international football.
After winning a World Cup and 93 caps, Varane surprisingly announced earlier this week that he would be stepping down from France duty permanently.
It will give him a chance to concentrate on his club football but Rothen has labelled the Man Utd centre-back’s decision to quit international football as a “disaster” and “stupid”.
“I think that at this age and when you play in a club that allows you to be at a very high level, you have a duty,” Rothen said (via Diario AS). “It’s to bring your talent to your country. He’s a disaster. He has a long history, congratulations!
“He won the most beautiful of competitions, the World Cup in 2018. We saw all his contribution to the last World Cup.
“There was scepticism because he was coming off an injury, but he performed very well. But I tell myself: what a decision!
“It’s a disaster to hear that, not to wearing the national team shirt again at 29. He can’t do that.
“Raphael, don’t forget you brought a lot, but here you are doing something stupid! The competition? He put players in his pocket. It’s a major madness within this group.”
In an emotional social media post, Man Utd defender Varane explained his decision to step down from Les Bleus, he said: “Representing our great country for a decade has been one of the greatest honors of my life. Each time I wore this special blue jersey, I felt immense pride.
“The duty to give everything, to play with my heart and to win every time we entered the field. I have been considering this for several months and have decided that it is the right time for me to retire from international football.
“As a child, I remember following France 98, this team, these players who made us experience indescribable emotions. I dreamed of doing like our heroes and, 20 years later, I had one of the best experiences of my life, one that made me really proud.
“We brought the Cup home!! I will never forget him. I still feel every single emotion I felt that day, July 15, 2018. It was one of the greatest and most memorable moments of my life.
“This victory that we won together would never have been possible without the support of Didier Deschamps, of each of the members of the management and our staff during these years, of my teammates who defended our shirt at each of our matches.
“But more importantly, this victory would not have been possible without the support of each of you along this path. Your enthusiasm, the celebrations and the memories of our return to France will remain etched in my mind forever.
“Even after the defeat in the final last year, with certainly a great run, you welcomed us as heroes when we returned. To each and every one of you, a thousand times THANK YOU!”