Influential in France’s second game at the 2018 FIFA World Cup Hugo Lloris came to his team’s rescue during the first half against Peru. It was a familiar sight, the goalkeeper having also averted disaster against Australia at almost the exact same moment in the match. But while he went on to concede a penalty against the Socceroos, this time Lloris held firm until the final whistle.
That performance helped Les Bleus seal their spot in the last 16, perfect way for Hugo to celebrate a personal landmark – his 100th international cap.
“I feel good,” he explained afterwards, before turning his focus to the team’s performance. “Together we were very solid and aggressive, and we stood up to Peru’s pressing. That was our platform.”
Lloris also admitted to feeling moved by reaching his century. “On a personal level, I couldn’t have this enjoyed this 100th appearance more,” he said, having also worn the captain’s armband a record 76 times. “Despite that, for me it was like any other game: you have to put that to one side when you’re on the pitch. I stayed focused, professional, and my only mot ivation was to win and give everything for the team.”
Our captain fantastic has never enjoyed being the centre of attention and he is clearly not about to change. Instead, when being interviewed for the FIFA.com website, he quickly shifted the spotlight back onto his team’s display: “We were able to make the difference with our goal and then we managed to control the game. I’m very satisfied.”
Hugo was asked about his longevity, consistency and strengths. What, in short, is Lloris’s secret? “Hard work,” he replied, possibly to nobody’s great surprise. “It’s always a question of hard work … and challenging yourself as well.”
He has held the France No1 shirt since 2008, however he will eventually have to pass on the gloves – and he already has advice for any future challengers.
“You have to learn to savour it,” explained Hugo. “It flies by. To represent your country is an opportunity and a privilege, and you have to tell yourself that and repeat it because the years go by so quickly in football. It’s not enough to just be in the team: you have to stay there for as long as possible.”
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