Friday, July 19, 2024

Man Utd teammates Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane share moment after World Cup final

Lisandro Martinez was spotted taking the time to console his Manchester United teammate Raphael Varane after Argentina beat France in the World Cup final following a dramatic penalty shootout.

Argentina and the defending champions couldn’t be separated after 120 minutes of action. The scores were level at 3-3 after Kylian Mbappe plundered a remarkable hat-trick to rescue France and cancel out Lionel Messi’s brace and a slick first-half goal from Angel Di Maria.

But Argentina persevered and lifted the coveted Jules Rimet trophy after Kingsley Coman and Aurelien Tchouameni both missed spot-kicks in the subsequent penalty shootout, which was won 4-2 by Lionel Scaloni’s side.

And while Martinez rejoiced in the Middle East, it was a different story for his Old Trafford colleague Varane, who ended up on the losing side. But eagle-eyed fans spotted that Martinez cut his celebrations short to comfort Varane at the Lusail Stadium after the final whistle.

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There were fears that Varane would miss the entire tournament after he left the field in tears during United’s match against Chelsea with an injury issue. The 29-year-old made a miraculous recovery though and played a significant role in France’s run to the final.

While Varane starred for his country in Qatar, and impressed in Sunday’s final, Martinez has found himself in and out of the Argentina team over the past four weeks and was an unused substitute against France.

Although they lined up on opposite sides on Sunday, the duo have struck up an impressive partnership at Old Trafford since Erik ten Hag snapped up Martinez in a £47.5million deal back in the summer.

Martinez and Varane have now firmly established themselves as Manchester United’s first-choice central defensive pairing, but both are expected to be absent in just over a weeks time when the Premier League campaign resumes.

It’s highly unlikely either player will be considered for United’s meeting with Nottingham Forest due to their run to the World Cup final – and that could open the door for club captain Harry Maguire to stake his claim for regular football.

Maguire, 29, lost his spot in the team to Martinez after making a calamitous start to the season. But after producing a string of impressive displays for England at the World Cup, Maguire could earn a reprieve if he can replicate that form for United in the coming weeks.

Speaking last week, Ten Hag backed Maguire to make the most of his chance to impress after the World Cup. The Dutchman said: “I’ve been asked many times if he [Maguire] is good enough to play for me and it is clear he is good enough to play at the highest level. He has, for England, almost all the time good games. Yes he had a period in Manchester where he performed badly and then of course there are difficulties.

“But when he is confident in himself, he will put that on the pitch. When he is working hard you will get that confidence and you are seeing that with the way he is playing for England.

“We want him to bring that back to Manchester with him so he can bring it on the pitch for Manchester United. I expect from him, the team knows what they expect from him. If he does that he will be a great player for us.”

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