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Laurens: France's "Next XI"

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Raphael Varane hails Evra's experience

Raphael Varane has underlined the importance of Patrice Evra for the younger players in the France squad.

Captain of his nation at the 2010 World Cup, Evra, 33, has since lost the armband to Hugo Lloris and seen his reputation suffer badly with him being seen by the French public as the ringleader of the squad's infamous 'bus of shame' strike in South Africa four years ago.

He also came in for criticism from media when -- as a substitute -- he spoke up at half-time of Les Bleus' World Cup qualifier in Belarus in September when his country was trailing 1-0 in a game they went on to win 4-2.

He does, however, command utmost respect in the dressing room, and remains a fundamental part of Didier Deschamps' squad, bringing to bear the experience he has picked up in 59 international appearances and almost eight years playing at Manchester United.

With the youthful Paul Pogba, 21, and Antoine Griezmann, 23, joining Real Madrid centre-back Varane, 21, in Deschamps' starting XI in recent games, Evra's willingness to pass on the lessons he has learned at the highest level has been invaluable.

"He plays his role in full," Varane revealed. "He speaks a lot, transmits his experience to the youngest ones. He has a significant amount of experience, which is a good thing as he can support us. We need that. He tells us to enjoy it and savour it, that we shouldn't worry more than necessary."


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