Raphael Varane is expected to return to Real Madrid’s starting lineup against Liverpool on Tuesday, as he aims to capture his fifth Champions League title at the age of 28.
The World Cup-winning central defender discussed how he has dealt with pressure throughout his career and what he believes is the key to success at the highest level.
“For me, pressure is a friend. It’s a driving force,” he told UEFA.
“I think pressure makes you better. It gives you adrenaline and helps you think faster, stay more focused and play the game more intensely.
“I’d say that terrifying pressure should motivate you, since you run faster when you’re scared”.
The Frenchman also opened up about his mental drive during matches.
“I don’t think my style of play makes you immediately think that I’m a warrior. However, I recognise that I have a warrior mentality.
“I quite like challenges. The more difficult the challenge, the more I enjoy it. The less you believe in me, the more motivated I am.
“That’s my way of being and thinking, and that’s what helped me reach the highest level and stay there for many years”.
Varane has won just about everything in the game but his ambition hasn’t faded.
“I would say it’s natural and innate, and then it develops through whatever you experience,” he said.
“In my case, it was the daily challenge of trying to beat my older brother to reach his level and improve.
“There’s been pressure on me to win and get better since I was a child, and it’ll be with me all my life. “