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Sports

Talking to Tottenham & France team captain Hugo Lloris

Rick Olivares - Philstar.com
Talking to Tottenham & France team captain Hugo Lloris
Hugo Lloris

MANILA, Philippines – With the crucial Tottenham-Arsenal English Premier League match on Friday, May 13, and a UEFA Champions League slot for next season at stake, Philstar.com was able to talk to the former’s team captain and goalkeeper Hugo Lloris.

Lloris is also the team captain of the French National Football Team and a teammate of Filipino-French goalkeeper Alphonse Areola. 

As of Wednesday, Arsenal is at fourth spot in the standings with a 21-3-11 record, which is good for 66 points. 

Tottenham is in fifth spot with a 19-5-11 record for a 62-point total. With three matches left, this match for both London-based clubs has huge significance for both sides. 

“It’s a big game and we hope we can get a good result and get a chance to play in the Champions League,” said Lloris, who in 10 years with the Spurs has become a certified club legend.

In Premier League play, Lloris has had 333 appearances, 117 clean sheets and a record of 189 wins and 78 losses. For all competitions with Spurs, Lloris has played in a total of 413 matches — the most by a Tottenham player.

“As a player, I am not focused on individual statistics,” he downplayed. “I focus on my game and my work. Even if it has been 17 years playing professional football, I try to be focused on my work so I can finish as good as I would like. It is a privilege to be a part of Tottenham’s first team and the French national team.”

The 35-year-old Lloris remains one of the top goalkeepers in the Premier League as well as in the world. 

“I believe that a player when he arrives at a certain age, he should be very conscious of the quality of food he eats as well as health taking a lot of importance,” he cited of his longevity at top flight football. “Your recovery when you get older is different. So it is important to be focused on your work, to work out, to mind your nutrition, and I believe to enjoy what you do. When you enjoy what you do, the rest is easy.”

As a testament to his professionalism, Lloris’ teammate, South Korean star Heung Min-son, paid tribute to him the previous week by calling him “Superman” for his penchant for saving games with his goaltending. 

Lloris was surprised by Son’s comment given fans and media blowing out of proportion a row between the teammates during a game. 

“That happens to every player in every club,” underscored the Spurs’ captain. “It is important to mention one thing about the reactions between Son and me. Behind that is a deep relationship.  We have a lot of respect for each other and have been together for many years. And we enjoy being teammates. It is important to mention it because people can be confused with this image. I enjoy spending time and training with him.” 

And between the sticks, Lloris has a great view of the partnership between Son and strike mate, Harry Kane. 

Since the 2016-17 season, the duo has scored 41 goals together when playing alongside each other. They have surpassed many previous strike duos in Alan Shearer and Chris Sutton, Teddy Sheringham and Darren Anderton, Thierry Henry and Robert Pires, Sergio Aguero and David Silva, Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba.   

“They have reached such a high level because of their talent and their work,” pointed out Lloris of his equally famous teammates. “I see them every day with the same motivation and ambition. Even under different managers their focus is very high. And they are so important for the team and they deliver.”

Lloris knows that he has only a few years left in top-flight football. He has lifted trophies with his previous French clubs in Nice and Lyon as well as for France. With Spurs, they have three bridesmaid finishes.

“We came close in the Champions League twice with the last the loss to Liverpool in 2018 in Madrid,” said Lloris. “My motivation is to win something big with Spurs. I wake up every day and go to training with that in mind. I put everything on to do something for the team and the fans. That is my motivation.”

“It is difficult to choose one moment for me in 10 years with the Spurs. But I would say the semifinals in the UCL versus Ajax (where the two teams finished 3-3 on aggregate but Tottenham advancing because of their away goals) in May of 2019.  That was a special moment and it will stay a special moment for years.”

The Tottenham and Arsenal games in the English Premier League can be viewed by Filipino fans on the Premier Football Channel on Skycable and Cignal, and on the TapGo streaming application.

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