Man United’s Raphael Varane admits he has “damaged his body” by repeatedly heading the ball – Man United News And Transfer News

Manchester United defender Raphael Varane has acknowledged that the continued impact of heading the ball throughout his illustrious and trophy-laden career has ultimately “damaged his body.”

He candidly spoke to French publication L’Équipe and admitted that he has had to play while concussed on more than one occasion.

Varane said that he suffered a concussion just days before playing in France’s 1-o defeat against Germany in the quarter-finals of the 2014 World Cup.

He also revealed that the same thing happened at his former club Real Madrid when they were beaten by Manchester City in the last 16 second leg of the 2020 Champions League.

Varane has been at the forefront of advocating for player welfare and especially calling for football stars to play fewer games to prevent consistently occurring injuries.

The Frenchman retired from international football in February last year after a fruitful 10-year spell that culminated in him and Les Bleus winning the World Cup in 2018. He won a total of 93 caps for his country.

The 30-year-old told L’Équipe, “My seven-year-old son plays football and I advise him not to head the ball. For me, that’s essential. Even if it doesn’t cause any immediate trauma, we know that in the long term, repeated shocks can have harmful effects.”

“Personally, I don’t know if I’ll live to be 100, but I do know that I’ve damaged my body. The dangers of headers need to be taught on all amateur football pitches and to young people.”

He added about playing while concussed, “I finished the [Nigeria] match but I was in ‘autopilot’ mode. The staff wondered if I was fit [to play Germany]. I was weakened, but ultimately I played and rather well. What we’ll never know is what would have happened if I had taken another knock to the head.”

“As footballers used to playing at the highest level, we are accustomed to pain, we are a bit like soldiers, tough guys, symbols of physical strength, but these [concussions] are symptoms which are quite invisible.”

Varane also divulged that he has missed a few games for United this term due to symptoms of concussion.

The United n.o 19 has made 29 appearances across all competitions this term, with 20 of these coming in the Premier League.

Varane’s time at Old Trafford has been marred by physical setbacks but whenever available, he has almost always been a reliable presence at the heart of United’s defence.

He called for the medical staff of clubs to be empowered to veto players from playing if they’re not fully fit, even if they are pressured into giving a clean bill of health.

The United centre-back also urged his fellow football professionals that there is no shame in withdrawing from a match if injured because the real strength lies in stopping and resting – a task that at the top level, may prove very difficult for players.

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