Madrid: Real Madrid teenager Raphael Varane has been tipped to become a better player than Laurent Blanc, the former World Cup and European champion and existing France coach.
The prediction was made Friday by the 18-year-old French central defender's club manager, Jose Mourinho.
"He'll be better than Laurent Blanc," Mourinho told a press conference.
"Varane has the same intelligence, the same calmness, the same presence as Laurent Blanc on the pitch. But, putting aside the respect I have for Blanc, Varane is a lot quicker."
He added: "For now he's still a kid, he's only 18. But I hope and I believe that when he reaches his maturity as a footballer at 26-27 he'll be better than Blanc."
Varane has impressed since joining Madrid from Lens this season, and is expected to start in place of the suspended Pepe in Saturday's league trip to Osasuna.