Raphael Varane claims he has fulfilled his destiny to play for Manchester United after a 2011 meeting with Sir Alex Ferguson fuelled his Old Trafford ambition
- Raphael Varane joined Manchester United this summer for a fee of £42million
- Sir Alex Ferguson met with the defender in 2011 to persuade him to join United
- But the Frenchman joined Real Madrid after intervention from Zinedine Zidane
- His summer move sees him united with Cristiano Ronaldo and Paul Pogba
Raphael Varane revealed he believes it was destiny for him to join Manchester United after a 2011 meeting with Sir Alex Ferguson fuelled a long-term Old Trafford ambition.
In the summer of 2011, the centre-back had Europe’s elite vying for his signature and the United legend was among them.
Ferguson appeared at the door of Varane’s mother’s house in Lille to persuade him to join Manchester United.
The then 18-year-old wound up at the Santiago Bernabeu thanks to an intervention from Zinedine Zidane but the former United manager’s journey was not in vain.
Raphael Varane (left) claims it was his destiny to play for Manchester United after meeting Sir Alex Ferguson (right)
Ferguson may not have got his man 10 years ago but the Frenchman finally arrived at the Theatre of Dreams for £42m this summer.
‘It was a special moment for me and my family,’ Varane told Sky Sports. ‘It’s amazing to meet a person like him at 18. You know, after that, it’s your destiny. Ten years in Madrid and now I’m here.’
Varane became one of the world’s best defenders at Real Madrid, winning four Champions Leagues and three LaLiga titles and the centre back is determined to bring his success to Manchester.
The defender has won the Champions League four times and the 2018 World Cup with France
‘That’s my mentality,’ says Varane. ‘I want to be better. I want to improve. I want to push myself.
‘This is a new challenge for me,’ he adds. ‘A different competition, a different mentality, a different atmosphere. It’s all new for me but I’ve enjoyed every day so far.
‘It’s a big challenge to get Manchester United back to the top but I feel people want to win, people want to do great things with this club, and that’s a big motivation for me.’
Ferguson is not the only United manager to thank for Varane’s arrival. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer spoke to him about the ambition of the team as he persuaded Varane to join ahead of his move this summer.
Varane also had the luxury of picking the brains of close friend and international team-mate Paul Pogba.
The centre back links up with international team-mate Paul Pogba (left) at Old Trafford
‘Paul spoke to me about the club, about the atmosphere, about the expectations,’ says Varane.
‘Of course, he is a great player. But he also has very good, positive energy. He is a leader for the group. I’ve known him for a very long time so I’m happy to play with him.’
Varane’s move was rather overshadowed by United’s sensational swoop for Cristiano Ronaldo but the 28-year-old holds no grudges as he relishes the reunion with his former Madrid team-mate.
‘I think he is the best example in the world in terms of work ethic and winning mentality,’ says Varane, who shared a dressing room with Ronaldo for seven seasons at Real Madrid.
‘Playing with this type of player, you improve every day. If he is still playing to such a high level at his age, it’s because his work is amazing. I’m very happy to play with him.’