Real Madrid news

Zidane backs Varane for Madrid success

June 24, 2011
By ESPNsoccernet staff

Zinedine Zidane has backed Raphael Varane to be a success at Real Madrid and believes he could become the next Laurent Blanc.

Raphael Varane, Jordan Loties
GettyImagesRaphael Varane was also stongly linked with Manchester United

Varane to join Madrid
Lens reject bids for Varane

Defender Varane is expected to complete a move from Lens to the Bernabeu early next week with Zidane, who is an advisor to Madrid president Florentino Perez, instrumental in luring his countryman to Spain.

Zidane is confident the 18-year-old will blossom under Jose Mourinho after comparing him to former France centre-half, and current Les Bleus boss, Blanc.

Zidane said: "He is a very promising player and was an obvious target for a club such as Real Madrid seeking talent. He is a player I like very much and in many ways resembles Laurent Blanc. I haven't seen many players like that.

"Varane has a great future. The fact many top clubs wanted him is an indication he has talent. I am also happy because he is French. I know people in France would have liked him to stay here but I am just doing my job."

Varane made 23 appearances for Lens last season but could not prevent them from suffering relegation to Ligue 2.