Cristiano Ronaldo has given his seal of approval to Raphael Varane’s move to Manchester United.
The World Cup winning centre-back was finally unveiled as a Red Devil this weekend, paraded on the pitch before his new team’s Premier League opener against Leeds.
A deal had been agreed between United and Real Madrid for weeks, but a number of issues held up the official announcement.
But those were finally ironed out at the end of last week, with Varane signing a four-year deal at Old Trafford.
His arrival on the pitch set the tone for an atmosphere which helped inspire Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side to a thumping 5-1 win over rivals Leeds.
Legendary United defender Rio Ferdinand was on the pitch to greet Varane, shaking his hand, wishing him luck and telling him to “win, win, win”.
Ferdinand posted the exchange on social media and Ronaldo was quick to respond, posting simply: “Grande (great)”.
Ronaldo played alongside Varane almost 200 times and predicted he would become one of the best in the world when he was just 19.
“Varane is now learning a lot. He has grown as a player and as a man,” Ronaldo told AS back in 2013. “He is quick, he has good composure and he is very calm.
“He is accumulating experience at his young age. He is humble and, for me, in a few years will be one of the best central defenders in the world.
“I have no doubt about it.”
Solskjaer offered a similarly glowing assessment of his newest recruit, while hoping that his prolific trophy record will translate to the rest of the squad.
Solskjaer told the club’s official site: “I’m absolutely delighted that we have managed to secure one of the best defenders in the world over the last 10 years. Raphaël is a proven winner who we have tracked over a long period of time and we know just how much of a dedicated professional he is.
“We have great depth of international defenders and he will add his immense skill set and leadership to that group. He is a unique defender with a rare combination of top-level attributes that I know will rub off on our younger players.
“He has won everything there is to win but I know that he is still determined to succeed, I can’t wait to welcome him into the squad.”
Varane added: “Manchester United is one of the most iconic clubs in world football and the chance to come here and play in the Premier League is something I couldn’t turn down.
“There is a lot more that I want to achieve in my career and I know I’m joining a squad full of great players who will all have the same determination to win matches and trophies.”
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