Lloris knows France must suffer to beat Belgium and Spurs team-mates
PUBLISHED: 13:00 10 July 2018
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The France and Tottenham Hotspur captain looked ahead to facing his club colleagues and explained why the Red Devils are so good
Captain Hugo Lloris is confident France will be ready for the challenge of taking on a Belgium outfit who “know how to do everything” in Tuesday’s World Cup semi-final.
The Red Devils, often said to currently have a ‘golden generation’ of players, have looked impressive during their run in Russia, which included a 2-1 victory over Brazil in the last eight on Friday night.
Roberto Martinez’s side have sealed a place in the semi’s for only the second time, and the first since 1986.
And Tottenham Hotspur captain Lloris said at a pre-match press conference streamed on FIFA’s official website: “They are an exhaustive team, they know how to do everything.
“I think the Belgian team is the most exhaustive team in all aspects of the game during this tournament - they are strong everywhere. They have everything they need to be a great team and they are a great team.
“It is a fantastic generation and in order to beat them we will have to play a great match.
“We know there are going to be difficult moments and we’ll have to be ready to suffer.
“But we will be ready because we have an extremely good state of mind and it is the semi-finals in the World Cup. It is an opportunity in our careers and we have to grab it with both hands.”
The 31-year-old goalkeeper has three Tottenham team-mates in the Belgium squad, Jan Vertonghen, Toby Alderweireld and Mousa Dembele, and there will likely be a number of cases of Premier League club colleagues facing each other during Tuesday’s game.
France boss Didier Deschamps said: “We know them, they know us. The peculiarity is there are many players on my team who have their own club team-mates facing them. So they know each other. It’s an advantage on both sides.”
In terms of familiarity, there is also the fact Belgium have former France forward Thierry Henry working as an assistant coach under Martinez.
Deschamps, who was Henry’s captain in the French squad that won the 1998 World Cup, said: “Of course, it is a difficult situation, it really is not easy for him and it does happen sometimes. You are part of the enemy team.
“He did know that from the time he was joining the management team and becoming an assistant to Martinez, that this could happen. But on the personal front it is with great pleasure that I’m going to see him.”
Goalkeeper Lloris, another former France team-mate of Henry’s, said: “It is true that it is a little bit peculiar to see him with the Belgian team but that is his career and that is how he is learning his future career.
“I think his heart will be split because before anything he remains French. We know him, he has a lot of passion inside him for football and he will be with the Belgians and give everything to help his team.”