Posted January 31, 2013 on AP on Fox
China-beijing-soccer
It was supposed to be another night featuring the scoring prowess of rival stars Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. Instead, a little-known 19-year-old French defender named Raphael Varane single-handedly rescued Real Madrid in a 1-1 draw with Barcelona in the first leg of the Copa del Rey semifinals. Varane started for the short-handed Madrid with both of coach Jose Mourinho's first-choice center backs unavailable. While Barcelona had various scoring chances that they simply failed to finish off, Varane rose to the occasion and made key interventions in defense before capping his stellar performance with a header to equalize nine minutes from the end. ''It's like a dream come true, incredible to score a goal like that against Barcelona at just 19,'' Varane said. ''Mourinho told me to give it my all, and after the game my teammates congratulated me. It wasn't the best result, but at least it left it wide open.'' Madrid newspapers cel...
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