Monday, February 6, 2023

France record-breaker and World Cup-winning captain Lloris quits international football

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 9 Jan 2023

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Hugo Lloris has retired from international football after leading France to a second consecutive World Cup final.

Goalkeeper Lloris is Les Bleus’ most-capped player and has captained the team since 2012.

The Tottenham man skippered his country at six major tournaments, including three World Cups.

Lloris was the man between the posts as France won their second world title in 2018, having lost in the final of their home Euro 2016 two years earlier.

With Lloris still in goal, France returned to the World Cup final at Qatar 2022, only to lose on penalties to Argentina.

Having taken time to announce a decision following that defeat, Lloris confirmed his retirement in an interview with L’Equipe on Monday.

“There comes a time when you have to know how to hand over,” he said, before referencing deputy Mike Maignan.

“I don’t want to own [the position]. I’ve always said and repeated that the France team doesn’t belong to anyone, and we all have to make sure that this is the case, me first.

“I think that there remains a team ready to continue, and there is also a goalkeeper who is ready.”

Maignan appeared set to push Lloris for the number one shirt in Qatar, only to join a long list of France stars who missed the tournament through injury.

Lloris kept only a single clean sheet at the finals, although that came in the semi-final against Morocco.

He retires with eight World Cup clean sheets, behind only countryman Fabien Barthez and Peter Shilton (both 10) since 1966.

“I’d rather go out at the top than wait for a decline or [face] too much competition,” Lloris added. “There is also a family choice;I feel the need to spend more time with my wife and children.”

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