Hugo Lloris says he’s ready to pass the ‘baton’ to Kylian Mbappe Lead a new generation of France to success.
French superstar scores hat-trick to claim Golden Boot But after an epic World Cup final, it still ended in defeat. Tottenham Captain Lloris, who turns 36 later this month, is contemplating his international future but believes Mbappe and an exciting new crop of players will once again elevate the Blues.
Mbappe is the biggest star in France, but they also have players like Marcus Thuram, Aurelian Chomeny, Randall Coyomuani, Ibrahim Konate, William Saliba And players like Eduardo Camavinga.
France captain Lloris, who lifted the World Cup four years ago, suffered heartbreak against Argentina, but says a new generation can enjoy a new wave of success.
Lloris said: “I believe this tournament can be used for the future of the French team. It is a handover between the generation that arrived at the end of their careers and the new generation headed by Kylian, who have shown a strong presence in this tournament. Leadership, even more so in the final. We have to keep this French team on top.”
Lloris is widely expected to end his international career after the World Cup. The Spurs goalkeeper was aiming to become the first man to lead his country to two consecutive World Cups but suffered a heartbreak against Argentina
GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP via Getty Images)
He now says he will decide in the next few weeks whether to continue but can now focus on his club career.
Asked if he would retire from the national team, Lloris said: “I don’t want to answer that question. I need a little perspective to gain height. We’ll see in a few weeks.
“We’re exhausted from playing like this. We just want to find our own. We’re running out of energy and we just want to get back to our families.”
The future of France coach Didier Deschamps is also uncertain, but he is expected to stay on and meet with the French Football Association next month.
Lloris said: “It was his decision. Again, after games like this, it’s hard to answer. We ended up exhausted. But again, we’re going to have to work hard because in a year and a half, it’s the Euros.”
But Lloris admitted France now regrets handing over their World Cup winners, not least the way they started the final.
They trailed 2-0 before Mbappe scored twice to send the final into extra-time and returned to penalties again. Lloris admitted that it was a “crazy” game, but even in the final loss, they finally showed their character and team strength.
Lloris added: “What we can regret is the first half, we totally lived through that. We were eaten up in every aspect of the game. Still, in the second half we came back with different intentions.
“We felt there was room to come back. We did, and thanks to the talent of Kylian (Mbappe), he knows how to lead the team through big moments. This extension was a bit crazy, I remember at 3-3 we could Score both moves.
“It was painful. But you have to give credit to the French team for everything that happened. We won the title of world champions in 2018.
“Being 2-0 down, we didn’t put ourselves at our best, but despite that, we were able to come back. Even twice. It created a lot of spectacle. Once, we took the necessary risk. Back It took a lot of hard work, but we feel we can continue.”