Martinez comforted his teammate after France’s defeat (Picture: ITV)
The Argentina was seen consoling the France star after La Albiceleste’s penalty shoot-out victory in Qatar last month, with Les Blues falling short despite a remarkable comeback from two goals behind.
Martinez and Varane have struck up a formidable partnership at the heart of United’s defence this season, playing a key role in their side’s improvement under Erik ten Hag this season with club captain Harry Maguire benched as a result.
Discussing his on-pitch conversation with Varane at the World Cup final, Martinez told Sky Sports: ‘It was really, really important,” he said of their embrace on the pitch after the game.
‘We’ve only known each other a short time at United but we get on really, really well and there’s a real mutual respect and feeling between us. It’s like we’ve known each other for years.
‘He was my opponent, but that’s football. One team has to win, and won team has to lose, but I think it’s important to recognise that.
‘There’s a mutual love and respect between us. We shared that hug and it was important because football is like that. What happens on the pitch, stays on the pitch, but what happens off it is just as important and relationships like that count.’
Martinez was back in the United side on Friday (Picture: Getty)
Martinez returned to United training just before New Year’s Eve but has still not started a game, coming off the bench in Friday’s 3-1 win over Everton.
Maguire and Victor Lindelof returned to the backline for the 3-0 win over Bournemouth on Tuesday with ten Hag also experimenting with Luke Shaw at centre-half in recent weeks.
Martinez has welcomed the competition however with United still fighting on four fronts this season.
‘I like when there’s competition for places, I think it’s a positive,’ he said.
‘The vibe and the atmosphere in the dressing room is really positive and I’m proud we’re on this good run. It shows we are on the right road and we are making progress.
‘At the start of the season, we didn’t have the best of couple of games, but we managed to turn things around and that makes you stronger.
I think now, within the group, there’s a different kind of energy and atmosphere. Training is even more lively than it’s ever been. We can’t drop our guard, but three wins and three clean sheets is something to build on.’
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Martinez’s Argentina beat Varane’s France in last month’s final.