INTERVIEW | 14/02/2016“Zidane loves his football and he's very close to the players”, added the central defender.
Varane reflected on life at Real Madrid as he previewed the Round of 16 showdown against Roma in an interview given to UEFA: "At this stage they're all very tough games. I think that we've got what it takes to go far in this competition.
Real Madrid face Roma in the Round of 16. Just how dangerous are they?
They're a very good side. At this stage they're all very tough games and there are small margins between winning and losing. We'll need to be ready because it'll be a difficult game, but I think that we've got what it takes to go far in this competition.
How do Real Madrid go about preparing for this game?
In exactly the same way as we do for any other game. We need to be ready physically and mentally. You need give the opposition something to think about tactically and try to nullify their strong points.
What impact has Zidane's appointment had on the team?
He's a coach who loves the sport, and who likes to play attacking football, he likes to play quick possession football. He's added in more physical work in the training sessions, which is allowing us to press higher up the field. He's close to his players. He likes to chat with us and show us videos so that we can improve the finer details. The fact that he was a player and that he's a young coach means that we have a close relationship. When I was a child I saw him play and he's got an excellent reputation throughout the world, and especially in France.
You're 22 and this is your fifth Champions League campaign. What challenges do you face in this competition?
It's true that given my age, I've got a fair bit of experience in this competition. I've played in one final and each year presents a new challenge. I'm still as motivated and I always want to win, and at the end of the season I'm always hopeful of lifting the trophy. It's the top club competiton and the standard is always very high. There are always some great games and some superb goals. It's always extremely competitive, and it's really special to be playing in this competition.
You came to Real Madrid aged 18, how have you developed since then?
I've improved in all aspects of my game, I've grown as a player, and as a person. I came here at a very young age and where I've improved the most is in the physical battles and I hope to continue improving so as to fulfill my potential.
Can you describe what it felt like to win the Decima in Lisbon?
It was a feeling of pure joy. It's very difficult to describe, it was a great feeling. I think that sport in general, and football in particular is the only thing capable of generating such emotions. The celebrations with the fans were magical and we had an incredible time. Once you've won the Champions League once, you want to win it again. I find it very motivating to be working day after day to achieve such a challenging objective. Once you've already been there, you want to do it again.
What was it that made you want to become a professional footballer?
I started playing with my brother in our back garden. Initially, I just played for fun, but then I started to realise that I could make a career out of it and I've gone on to find out that it's the best job in the world. It wasn't something that just happened overnight, it was a slow process, and one which involved a lot of hard work, and years of effort and much training. As I was growing up I became a professional quite early really.