It must be Tottenham Hotspur Retirement Day. Just hours after former Tottenham midfielder Gareth Bale retired from all of football, another current Spurs player is hanging up his international boots. According to L’Equipe, Hugo Lloris has decided to retire from international football, passing the torch (and the captaincy) over to the next generation of Les Bleus.
Immense carrière avec les Bleus. Une légende du sport français. https://t.co/Y7ovKFMP8m— Loïc Tanzi (@Tanziloic) January 9, 2023
Hugo has a 14 year career with the French national team, and captain since 2010. He’s been a rock between the sticks for Les Bleus for that time, a stalwart presence and one of the best keepers in world football. Tottenham has been, and continues to be, lucky to have him.
Along the way, Hugo participated in four World Cups, making it to the finals of two of them. Hugo lifted the World Cup trophy with France at the Russia 2018 competition.
Hugo said, in an interview with L’Equipe, that after all this time and nearing the end of his playing career, it’s time to let others take the lead.
“There comes a time when you have to know how to pass the torch. I don’t want to make it my own, I’ve always said and repeated that the France team doesn’t belong to any one person, and we all have to make sure that’s the case, starting with me. I think that behind me, the team is ready to continue on, also there is also a goalkeeper who is ready [Mike Maignan].
“I prefer to go out being at the top than to wait for a drop in speed, or too much competition. There is also a family choice, I feel the need to spend more time with my wife and my children.”
It’s not surprising. In fact, I wondered if this would happen. Hugo’s had a long and successful career with France, but his time between the goalposts is winding down, and this is a logical time to step aside. Change is probably coming for his club career as well — Tottenham have made little secret of the fact that they are actively looking for his long-term successor, and it would surprise no one if he leaves Tottenham for another club in another country at the end of the season.
Father Time is undefeated and Spurs fans don’t have to look far to see evidence of Hugo slowing down, but he had a wonderful World Cup in Qatar this winter, even if he wasn’t quite able to win it with France for a second time. He leaves behind keeper gloves that will be difficult for anyone to fill, and will almost certainly go down as one of the best France international keepers ever.
In the meantime, he has the North London Derby to prepare for. Bon chance, Hugo.