Injury woes have made me stronger, says Varane

Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane feels he is "mentally stronger" after a knee injury saw him miss large chunks of last season.

The France international centre-back rose to prominence with a series of fine displays in the 2012-13 campaign.

Varane endured a frustrating spell on the sidelines at the beginning of last term, though, due to a knee complaint.

However, the 21-year-old returned to help Carlo Ancelotti's side clinch a UEFA Champions League and Copa del Rey double, while he has enjoyed a solid start to 2014-15 that has seen Real move top of La Liga with 27 points from 11 matches.

Varane is confident his injury problems are a thing of the past and thinks his period on the sidelines has helped his mental approach to the game.

"These things [the injury] made me mentally stronger," he told Marca.

"You realise how lucky you are when you are on the field and the pleasure of playing and how hard it is to be out, it made me grow up fast.

"The injury I had was not serious but it was very heavy and hard.

"The good news is we found the solution and since February I have no problems."

Varane has promised Real fans there is more to come from him.

"I always demand a lot of improvement, I have a perfectionist side," he added.

"At Madrid you must have a good basic technical level to compete with the other players.

"You look at the technical aspects of others and learn and you have to improve everything."