Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Hugo Lloris, the captain of France, leaves international football

France captain Hugo Lloris retires from international football

 PARIS: Hugo Lloris, the captain of France, has announced that he will no longer play international football at the age of 36. This announcement comes just three weeks after Argentina defeated France in the World Cup final on penalties in Doha.

In an interview that was published on Monday by the sports newspaper L'Equipe in France, Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper Lloris stated, "I have decided to stop my international career, with the feeling that I have given everything."

"I think it is important to announce this now, two and a half months prior to the beginning of Euro qualifying," said the coach.

Lloris, who made his debut for France in a friendly against Uruguay in November 2008 when he was 21 years old, leaves after becoming the player with the most appearances at the World Cup.

He finished with his 145th cap in the final, which France lost 4-2 on penalties after an epic 3-3 draw at the end of extra time, surpassing Lilian Thuram's previous record of 142 appearances.

Lloris stated, "I have really been thinking about it since the end of the World Cup, but there has been something deep inside of me for maybe six months now and which grew during the competition, leading me to make this decision." "I have really been thinking about it since the end of the World Cup."

Lloris, a goalkeeper who previously played for Nice and Lyon, captained France to victory in Russia at the 2018 World Cup.

He participated in seven major tournaments all together, including Euro 2016, which France hosted and Portugal won in the final.

Alphonse Areola of West Ham United and Steve Mandanda, a 37-year-old veteran of Rennes, served as France's back-up goalkeepers at the World Cup.

However, AC Milan's Mike Maignan, 27, who was injured during the World Cup, will take Lloris' place as France's starting goalkeeper.

"You will eventually need to step aside. "I have always maintained that no one individual owns the French national team," Lloris stated.

"There is a ready goalkeeper (Maignan), but I need a little more time for myself, my family, and my kids.

"To have been the goalkeeper for France for 14 and a half seasons is a big deal, but it is also mentally exhausting, and I hope that taking some time for myself will allow me to continue playing at the highest level for a few more years."

"Added he: Since I helped France reach the World Cup final, I prefer to end my career in victory."

Lloris made the decision after coach Didier Deschamps, who has been in charge since 2012, signed a new contract to stay in charge until the North American World Cup in 2026.

The qualifying campaign for Euro 2024 in Germany begins at the end of March with a double-header against the Netherlands and the Republic of Ireland. This is France's next assignment.

In Group B, they will also play Greece and Gibraltar. The top two teams will advance to the finals, which will take place next year on June 14 and July 14.

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