Man Utd legend claims two Ten Hag stars were among best at World Cup, with one ‘terrific’ and the other influential

Man Utd defender Raphael Varane representing France

Manchester United had two players at the World Cup who were worthy of being included in the tournament’s strongest lineup, according to a club legend.

One Manchester United player will be returning to Old Trafford as a World Cup winner. Lisandro Martinez may not have come on for the final against France, but was nevertheless a member of Argentina’s victorious squad.

However, two other members of Erik ten Hag’s roster caught the attention of one club icon in Qatar.

According to Bryan Robson, the former Real Madrid pair of Raphael Varane and Casemiro – Man Utd players since the summers of 2021 and 2022 respectively – were among the World Cup’s standout players.

Varane battled back from an injury just in time to make it into France’s squad. He started the final but his efforts eventually caught up with him when he had to go off.

For Robson, the centre-back was “terrific” in accounting for any lapses in concentration from those around him.

Robson told the Daily Mail: “I’ll probably get accused of Manchester United bias, but Varane has been a huge influence on France’s defence all the way through and held them together with his composure and anticipation.

“At times, those around him, such as Dayot Upamecano, have looked rash and prone to lunging in yet Varane covered well and got them out of trouble. He was terrific en route to the final.”

Man Utd star Casemiro impressed in subtle role

For Casemiro, it was an earlier exit. Brazil only made it to the quarter-finals, where they lost on penalties to Croatia.

Casemiro completed that match and was one of only two Brazilians to convert from the penalty spot afterwards. It was not enough, though.

Still, the defensive midfielder – who scored an impressive goal in the group stage to make the difference against Switzerland – stepped up on the global stage.

Robson wrote that Casemiro, “oozes calmness in the centre of the park and is an excellent passer of the ball.

“If you look, he plays a subtle role in a lot of Brazil’s best build-up play and he scored a cracking goal against Switzerland when his country truly needed him.

“Always steps up, is never afraid of taking responsibility and, fittingly, scored his penalty in the quarter-final against Croatia.

“There was a case for Declan Rice forcing himself in here too but I felt he could have done more against France in the quarter-final.”

Robson’s overall team of the tournament was: Croatia’s Dominik Livakovic in goal; a back four of England’s Kyle Walker, France’s Varane, Croatia’s Josko Gvardiol and France’s Theo Hernandez; a midfield trio of Brazil’s Casemiro, Morocco’s Sofyan Amrabat and France’s Antoine Griezmann; and an attacking trident of England’s Harry Kane, France’s Kylian Mbappe and, of course, Argentina’s Lionel Messi.

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