​Real Madrid's star defender, Raphael Varane has opened up on the difficulties when coming up against ​Barcelona talisman, Lionel Messi - going on to reveal the secret of such an important task.

The Frenchman emerged as one of the best defenders in the world following his move to the Bernabeu in 2011 and since then has engaged in a number of battles with the 32-year-old along with fellow centre-back, Sergio Ramos.

"Facing Messi? Lionel is a special player, you cannot defend against him as you do with others. It requires a lot of attention, you have to defend as a team. You cannot afford to leave spaces.", he said to ​La Liga.

Despite Varane's best efforts, Messi has usually got the number on his hated rivals as he is the all-time highest goalscorer in the famed El Clasico matches between the two Spanish giants, netting 26 goals so far, which is more than what the likes of legendary figures such as Alfredo Di Stefano, Cristiano Ronaldo and Cesar Rodriguez could manage.

Varane for his part though has enjoyed a hugely successful career with the Los Blancos so far, winning two league titles and four Champions League honours while also making 299 appearances for them.