Raphael Varane endured probably the most heartbreaking moments of his professional career as Manchester City dumped Real Madrid of the Champions League on Friday night.
It’s fair to say that Raphael Varane’s horrible mistakes at Etihad propelled Manchester City to the Champions League quarter-finals.
In the absence of captain Sergio Ramos, the 27-year-old defender was expected to provide Real Madrid with stability and confidence at the back.
Unfortunately, Varane did quite the opposite, as two of his blunders directly decided the outcome of the two-legged tie between the two European heavyweights.
Gabriel Jesus dispossessed the Frenchman in the Real Madrid penalty box nine minutes into the game to set up Raheem Sterling for the easiest of tap-ins.
Karim Benzema managed to pull one back for the visitors just before the hour mark after a delightful cross from Rodrygo.
However, Varane made sure to undo his team’s hard work, allowing Jesus to intercept his poor pass back to Thibaut Courtois in the 68th minute and seal a 4-2 aggregate success for Pep Guardiola’s side.
Instead of hiding, Varane took it in front of journalists to take the blame for his team’s elimination in what was probably the toughest interview of his career.
“I want to step up tonight,” Varane said, as transmitted by GiveMeSport. “This defeat is my fault, all mine.
“I have to accept that. I am sorry for my teammates and all the efforts they put in. This defeat is my responsibility.
“We played well. We prepared for the match well, but like I said, errors are costly at this level.”
Zinedine Zidane, on the other hand, stood for his centre-back, backing him to bounce back following a north-west-England nightmare.
“We will tell Varane, keep your head up,” the French manager said.
“I prefer to dwell on what most of my players achieved over the course of the season, which was spectacular.”