Varane: Ronaldo is an example

The Real Madrid and France centre-back reflected on his side’s 2-1 Clasico loss to Barcelona on Sunday before praising his team-mate for being a great role model

Raphael Varane has hailed Real Madrid team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo as an ‘example to follow’.

The France international featured briefly in the latter stages of his side’s 2-1 Clasico defeat to Barcelona on Sunday, a game that saw Ronaldo open the scoring.

And although LFP chief Javier Tebas has called for the Portuguese to be banned or fined for his celebration of that goal, Varane highlighted the qualities he brings to Madrid as both a team-mate and a role model.

Speaking to La Voix du Nord, he said: “This is a superstar. But also a very professional guy; always listen to your body to be on top physically.

“This is an outstanding competitor, always 200 per cent, an example to follow in everyday life.”

Varane joined los Blancos in 2011, intially struggling to break into the first team before a breakout year in 2012-13. Last season saw his appearances scaled back under Carlo Ancelotti but he has made 34 first-team appearances during the current campaign.

And although the 21-year-old has been heavily linked with a move to Chelsea this summer he says he is enjoying the challenge of making his mark at the Santiago Bernabeu.

He added: “I feel progress this season, including going through difficult times. This is where we learn the most.

“I turned a corner mentally. I can progress in a lot of areas, but what I would like is to impose my mark in the team.

“It’s a goal that I try to move forward. When you are at Real, it’s a challenge every day. I’m like that, I need these high goals to keep moving forward.”

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