Varane praise for Thiago Silva

Les Bleus

French international defender Raphaël Varane has called Paris Saint-Germain captain Thiago Silva "the benchmark" for all centre-backs to look up to.

Varane has established himself at Real Madrid since moving to the Spanish capital at the behest of Zinédine Zidane from RC Lens in 2011. The 20-year-old's displays have drawn favourable comparisons to Silva, but Varane believes he still has work to do before he is at the Brazilian's level.

"For the moment, he's the benchmark in my position, so the comparisons are flattering. I'm not a fan of comparisons, but it's true that I have a profile similar to his, whether it be in terms of our defending or playing the ball out, even if we don't have exactly the same style," said Varane, who started France's 6-0 defeat of Australia on Friday but is likely to make way for Laurent Koscielny for Tuesday's 2014 World Cup qualifier against Finland.

"I consider that I've got improvements to make, that I can still improve in a lot of areas."

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