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UEFA Champions League

UEFA Champions League: Varane Boost for Real Madrid



Real Madrid’s camp has exploded into joy at the return into fitness of Raphael Varane as the team face city rivals, Atletico Madrid in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League.
The boys of Zinedine Zidane are at home for Tuesday’s first leg, of the potentially explosive two-legged encounter. Varane, a defender, has only played once – against Deportivo La Coruna – since coming back from the hamstring injury he aggravated against Alaves in April.
The 24-year-old has not completed 90 minutes since a home win over Espanyol in mid-February, but has now added to the head coach’s options at centre-back along with Sergio Ramos and Nacho.
“Varane is fit – he has been training, he has recovered and he is doing well,” Zidane said at his pre-match media conference. “Pepe isn’t quite there yet, but we have three centre-backs all fit.
“I’m happy to have those three players for this finale to the season because there have been quite a few games, especially recently, when I have only had two fit centre-backs available – Nacho and Sergio Ramos.
“So to have one more now is great news.”

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and the country’s most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022.

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