My World Cup - Hugo Lloris
19 June 2014|Tottenham Hotspur
Hugo Lloris, who captained France in their 3-0 win over Honduras at the World Cup last weekend, tells us about his memories of the showpiece tournament.
What was the first World Cup you can recall watching?
That would be the 1994 competition in the United States. France were not present at the finals that year, but it was the first time that I watched some games in international competition. I was a young boy in France at the time.
Who were the stars you remember from that tournament?
A lot of players from the Brazilian team were excellent. They had players like Bebeto, Romario, Taffarel the goalkeeper and Dunga, as well. I also remember Bulgaria and Sweden from that tournament as they went all the way to the semi-finals. Italy were the other team in the last four along with Brazil.
Have you ever been to a World Cup match as a supporter?
No, never. I followed the French World Cup in 1998 but only at home or with friends. I celebrated in the street with all my friends when we won the final!
If there was one World Cup game you could have gone to, which one would it be and why?
I think, like a lot of the French people, it would be the final of World Cup 1998 when France were up against Brazil. I watched the game on TV – it was sensational! If I could watch that again live with all the French people it would be fantastic.
Have you ever represented your country at the World Cup before?
Yes, in South Africa in 2010. It was not a good competition in French history but when you are a player it’s always special to play at the World Cup. I remember the first game against Uruguay. It was a great feeling for me to represent my country in that kind of competition.
What are the best memories you have of your own country at the World Cup?
As I’ve already talked about, I really enjoyed France ’98. We were the host nation and, of course, we went on to win the final. Everyone was in a celebratory mood and it was a really special time.
What has been the best match you’ve ever seen at the Finals?
All the finals that I have watched since 1994 – and I’ve watched all the finals since then – have been historic. Each game was different, but just by watching them you can feel the pressure of what the competition represents for footballers and for all the countries involved.
And what has been the best goal?
It’s difficult to think of one individual strike because there’s been a lot of fantastic goals but again, the 1998 tournament had some brilliant efforts. One of the best ones was Boudewijn Zenden for Holland against Croatia in the third place play-off.
Who do you think will have a big impact at the 2014 World Cup?
Germany have a very strong team and I think they are developing in maturity. They have got to the semi-finals in the last two competitions so they have a good chance again in 2014. Brazil will be a top challenger, too.
Which two teams do you fancy to make it to the final, and who will lift the trophy?
I don’t know! All the best nations will be at this tournament so it’s impossible to pick a winner.