By Finley Crebolder
Raphael Varane said the virus that swept through the French team affected their performance in the World Cup final.
France failed to win their second successive World Cup, losing on penalties to Argentina in a thrilling final that saw them come from behind 2-0 down at the end of normal time before equalizing again after going into disadvantage in extra time.
They were eventually able to field a full squad for the match, but the squad was not fully fit with a number of players falling victim to a virus in the final week of the tournament.
Varane was one of those players and had to be substituted after 113 minutes in the final, barely able to stand due to exhaustion.
He has since confirmed that the disease has taken a toll on him, stating that he was “not well” as of The Athleticafter captain Hugo Loris assuming they were “empty” and “drained”.
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Lloris didn’t want to use the virus as an excuse for their defeat, but he believes it, along with the fact that France had one recovery day less than Argentina, it made things more difficult for them.
“We won’t hide behind excuses,” he said. “It hasn’t been easy in the last few days. Despite the virus, we tried to prepare for the game in the best possible way. Even one less recovery day might have counted.
Looking back on the match, the goalkeeper has regrets about their half-time performance, which saw them lose 2-0, but is proud of how they responded.
“The only regret we have is that first half, when we went completely wrong,” he added.
“We were consumed with every aspect of the game. Despite this, in the second half, we came back with different intentions.
“We felt we had room to come back. We did it, also thanks to Kylian’s talent [Mbappe] who was able to bring the team to an important moment”.
This article was originally posted on 90min.com as Raphael Varane reveals the impact of the virus on the French team .