REAL MADRID

Varane: the silent champion has Gento in his sights

At 27 years old, Rapheal Varane is on track to becoming Real Madrid's most trophy-laden player of all time.

Varane: una cita con la historia
Jean Catuffe Getty Images

Raphael Varane hails from that special lineage of players born to win. He has been doing so for nine years since signing for Real Madrid, and it would be odd if he doesn’t maintain that hunger for trophies until the day he retires.

The question is whether or not he will retire at Madrid. But one powerful motive for him to remain at the Bernabéu is the chance to become the club’s most trophy-laden player of all time. 

As reported by Diario AS on Sunday, there are still no movements on the renewal of his current contract, which ends in June, 2022. It is not an urgent matter, especially with the coronavirus having put a hold on most things. But experts believe it is crucial to begin renewal talks two years before a contract’s end, which is how Madrid normally proceed.

Beyond that, time picks up speed towards the last 18 months, after which the player has the upper hand in the negotiations. And Varane, who could go potentially leave on a free at 29, will not be short of suitors.

Varane chasing Real Madrid honours record

However, the 27-year-old centre back currently has an appointment with history at Real Madrid. Without making much noise about it, the silent champion is edging towards Francisco Gento, number one in the club’s honours list with 23 titles.

After the legendary midfielder, now 86 years old, come Manolo Sanchíz, Sergio Ramos and Marcelo, all tied on 21; Iker Casillas and José Antonio Camacho on 19; Benzema and Miguel Chendo on 18; followed by Alfredo Di Stéfano, Fernando Hierro and Varane himself with 17 trophies.

Varane’s biggest ‘rivals’, then, in surpassing Gento’s record are his current team mates, all of whom have quite a few years over the Frenchman: Ramos has just turned 34, Benzema is 32, while Marcelo will reach 32 in May. 

As we wait to see how this 2019-20 season ends, Varane, Madrid’s fourth captain, has averaged almost two trophies per season – one every 18 games. He can still keep his fine track record going until 2022, but to ensure that he reaches record-smashing new heights, he would have to renew.