Hugo Lloris (French pronunciation: [yɡo joʁis]; born 26 December 1986) is a French professional footballer who plays as a goalkeeper and is the captain of both English club Tottenham Hotspur and the French national team. Lloris is described as a goalkeeper who "boasts lightning reflexes and good decision-making" and is "a formidable opponent in one-on-one situations". Lloris also "commands his box well". Considered one of the best keepers in the world, he is a three-time winner of the National Union of Professional Footballers (UNFP) Ligue 1 Goalkeeper of the Year award.
Lloris began his career with hometown club OGC Nice. He made his debut as a teenager in October 2005 and started in goal during the team's run to the 2006 Coupe de la Ligue Final. After excelling at the club for three seasons, Lloris moved to seven-time Ligue 1 champions Olympique Lyonnais, amid interest from several other clubs, notably Milan. Lloris won several domestic awards in his first season with Lyon and, in his second season, earned award nominations at European level for his performances in the UEFA Champions League, which saw Lyon reach the semi-finals for the first time.
Lloris is a French international having represented his nation at under-18, under-19, and under-21 level. Prior to playing at senior level, he played on the under-19 team that won the 2005 European Under-19 Football Championship. Lloris made his senior international debut in November 2008 in a friendly against Uruguay. He helped France qualify for the 2010 FIFA World Cup and was applauded by the media for his performance over two legs against the Republic of Ireland in the qualifying playoffs. In 2010, he captained the national team for the first time.
Early and personal life
Lloris was born on 26 December 1986 in the Mediterranean city of Nice to an upper-class family. His mother was a lawyer and his father is a Monte Carlo-based banker of Pays Catalan descent. He has a younger brother, Gautier, who plays as a central defender and currently plays in the youth academy of his older brother's former club OGC Nice. In 2008, while Lloris was playing for Nice, his mother died. Just two days after her death, he gained national respect for his refusal of a bereavement leave offer from manager Frédéric Antonetti, instead opting to play in a league match for Nice. Lloris performed admirably in the match despite the circumstances. As a youth, like his international and club teammate Yoann Gourcuff, Lloris excelled at tennis and played the sport up until the age of 13. He was among the top players in his age group, ranking high in the country's national standings before opting to focus on football.
On 10 August 2010, Lloris was named, alongside international teammate Karim Benzema, to appear on the cover of the French version of FIFA 11. On 23 September 2010, Lloris announced the birth of his daughter.
Hugo began his football career at age six playing at CEDAC (Centre de Diffusion et d'Action Culturelle), a local cultural center based in the neighborhood of Cimiez, Nice. The centre offered a variety of activities, which included football. Lloris played a variety of positions at the centre, such as in the attack, before switching to the goalkeeper position after coaches noticed that he possessed impressive goalkeeping qualities, such as ball-handling and catching skills. Lloris excelled at the position and caught the attention of former OGC Nice goalkeeper and French international Dominique Baratelli, who recommended that the player join his former club. At the age of ten, Lloris joined Nice's youth academy. He spent several years in the club's youth academy and was the starting goalkeeper for the club's under-17 team that won the 2003–04 edition of the Championnat Nationaux des 18 ans, a country-wide domestic league competition for players under the age of 18.
After success with the club's under-18 team, Lloris was promoted to the club's reserve team in the Championnat de France amateur, the fourth level of French football, for the 2004–05 season. He alternated the starting goalkeeper spot with Hilaire Munoz as he appeared in 12 matches. Lloris was promoted to the first team squad ahead of the 2005–06 season and assigned the number 1 shirt. He was designated by manager Frédéric Antonetti as the team's starting goalkeeper for the club's Coupe de la Ligue campaign ahead of fan-favourite (and fellow Nice native) Damien Gregorini, who was relied more upon in league play. Lloris made his professional debut on 25 October 2005, at the age of 18, recording a clean sheet in Nice's 2–0 Coupe de la Ligue win over Châteauroux. He recorded another clean sheet the following round against Sedan and helped Nice upset favorites Bordeaux and Derby de la Côte d'Azur rivals Monaco in the quarter-finals and semi-finals respectively, meaning the club had reached its first-ever Coupe de la Ligue final. In the final, Lloris played the entire match in the club's 2–1 defeat against Nancy.
Lloris made his league debut on 18 March 2006 against Nancy picking up a clean sheet in a 1–0 victory. He made four more league appearances that season. The following season, Lloris was given the starting job permanently ahead of Gregorini, who subsequently departed the club for Nancy. Lloris appeared in all but one league match recording 13 clean sheets as Nice finished in 16th place. Despite the disappointing finish, the club was the fifth-best defensive team in the league with Lloris conceding only 36 goals. Only veterans Grégory Coupet, Cédric Carrasso and Ulrich Ramé conceded fewer. For the early part of the 2007–08 season, Lloris endured a recurring ligament injury in his left knee, which forced him to miss three weeks in September. He returned to the team on 6 October 2007 in a league match against Le Mans, but was substituted out after 71 minutes after the injury relapsed. Lloris missed a further six weeks before returning on 24 November in the team's 2–1 victory over Paris Saint-Germain. He appeared consistently with the team for the rest of the season as Nice finished in 8th place, the club's best finish in the league since finishing 6th in the 1988–89 season. Lloris conceded only 24 goals in his 30 appearances recording 13 clean sheets. He contributed to a defense that only conceded 30 overall during the season, tied for the league-best. Lloris' efforts that season led to him being approached by several big European clubs with hopes of signing him for the future.
After another solid season with Nice, speculation arose as to where Lloris would play the following season. He was primarily linked to French club Lyon, who wanted him to replace the departing Grégory Coupet, Milan, who wanted him to replace the Brazilian Dida, and Tottenham Hotspur, who wanted Lloris to replace Paul Robinson. After reportedly coming to personal terms with Milan, Lloris snubbed the Italian club for seven-time Ligue 1 champions Lyon. Milan vice president Adriano Galliani later declared that an agreement had been all but reached stating that Lloris was "practically ours", but the deal reached a stumbling block when Milan goalkeeper Christian Abbiati refused a move to Palermo. Lloris explained his decision citing Lyon's European ambitions, more playing time at Lyon, and in Milan, he was not guaranteed the starting goalkeeper spot. The transfer fee was initially undisclosed, but was later discovered to be priced at €8.5 million. He was promptly handed the number 1 shirt and also the starting goalkeeper position.
Lloris made his club debut in the team's opening league match of the 2008–09 season on 10 August 2008 against Toulouse. Lyon won the match 3–0 win giving the goalkeeper his first career clean sheet with the club. In the following three matches, Lloris earned clean sheets against Lorient and regional rivals Grenoble and Saint-Étienne. Despite Lyon losing out on the title for the first time in seven years, he finished the campaign conceding only 27 goals in the league and recording 16 clean sheets; both of which were second-best to only Cédric Carrasso. Lloris was, subsequently, named the league's top goalkeeper and also named to the Team of the Year.
In the 2009–10 season, Lloris remained the club's first-choice goalkeeper and opened the new campaign by recording four clean sheets in the club's first eight matches. For his performances in the month of September, he was awarded the UNFP Player of the Month becoming the first goalkeeper since Steve Mandanda in August 2008 to receive the award. Lloris earned media praise for his performances against Liverpool in the UEFA Champions League. In the first match, played at Anfield, Lloris made four saves holding Liverpool to only one goal. Lyon won the match 2–1. In the second match at the Stade Gerland, he produced stops from shots by Fernando Torres, Dirk Kuyt and Andriy Voronin in the first half, then displayed reflexes to deny the Brazilian Lucas midway through the second period. Though Lyon conceded late, the team drew the match 1–1 with a goal from Lisandro López in injury time. On 8 November 2009, Lloris, alongside Marseille and France's number two goalkeeper Steve Mandanda, each conceded five goals in a thrilling 5–5 draw between Lyon and Marseille, though most of the goals conceded were attributed to "slack defending" displayed by both clubs as described by the media and both managers. On 20 December, Lloris finished third behind Nicolas Anelka and Yoann Gourcuff in voting for the France Football 2009 French Player of the Year award.
Lloris remained consistent during the 2010 portion of the season conceding only two goals in the club's first four matches of the year with Lyon winning all of them and Lloris picking up two clean sheets. On 16 February, Lloris earned a clean sheet in Lyon's first leg of its UEFA Champions League knockout round match against Real Madrid. Lloris made two saves in the team's 1–0 victory making a finger-tipping save from a deflected Cristiano Ronaldo shot in the 61st minute and producing a reflex save on a shot from Gonzalo Higuaín three minutes later to keep Lyon ahead on the scoreline. Lyon later achieved qualification to the quarterfinals in the competition after drawing 1–1 in Madrid with Lloris conceding the opening goal to Cristiano Ronaldo in the sixth minute. It was the goalkeeper's first goal conceded in over 620 minutes. On 2 May, Lloris provided the assist on the game-winning goal scored by Michel Bastos in Lyon's 1–0 win over Montpellier. A week later, he was named, for the second consecutive season, the UNFP Ligue 1 Goalkeeper of the Year.
Ahead of the 2010–11 season, Lloris was nominated for the UEFA Club Goalkeeper of the Year award at the UEFA Club Football Awards, but lost out on the award to Champions League-winning keeper Júlio César of Internazionale. In the season, Lloris performed well, despite conceding a career-high 40 goals in the league as Lyon failed to win the league for the third consecutive season. The frustrating season for the club and Lloris himself reached its zenith on 3 April 2011 following the club's 2–2 away draw with Lloris' former club Nice. Despite being up 2–0 heading into injury time, Lyon conceded two goals within two minutes of each other, an Éric Mouloungui penalty and a goal at the death from Renato Civelli, allowing Nice to leave the match with a draw. Following the conclusion of the match, a disappointed Lloris, who had previously saved a penalty shot in the match, delivered a surprising profanity-laced declaration in the team's locker room, in which he questioned the team's overall performance. Following the team's 3–0 win over Lens the following week, in which Lloris earned his first clean sheet in over a month, the goalkeeper reflected on his comments after the Nice match, stating, "It was a human reaction. There was frustration and accumulation and it had to come out. It was intolerable to draw 2–2 when leading 2–0."
Lloris signed for Tottenham Hotspur on 31 August 2012 for €10 million and €5 million variable. Lyon also receives 20% of Lloris's future transfer profit. He made his debut for Spurs in a UEFA Europa League match against Lazio on 20 September 2012, the result of the match was 0–0. Lloris started his first Premier League game against Aston Villa on 7 October 2012, keeping a clean sheet in a 2–0 home victory. His appearance ended fellow Tottenham goalkeeper Brad Friedel's run of 310 consecutive games in the Premier League. After conceding only four goals in six games, he was nominated for the Barclays Premier League Player of the Month for December 2012, but lost out to Manchester United's Robin van Persie. Lloris ended the 2012–13 season with 25 appearances and 9 clean sheets.
Following speculation linking him with a move to Monaco, Lloris insisted he had left Lyon to play abroad. On 3 November 2013, in a match against Everton, Lloris lost consciousness in a collision with Romelu Lukaku's knee, but remained in the game after manager André Villas-Boas determined he "showed great character and personality". The decision was heavily criticised by head injury charities, FIFA and the players' union, FIFPro.
Lloris signed a five-year contract extension in July 2014.
In a 2014–15 UEFA Europa League group stage match on 23 October 2014, Tottenham were leading Asteras Tripoli 5–0 with four minutes to play when Lloris was sent off for a professional foul on Tasos Tsokanis. As the team had used all three substitutes, forward Harry Kane was forced into goal and conceded a goal from a freekick in the 89th minute; Tottenham won the match 5–1. In August 2015, Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino named Lloris permanent captain of the team, replacing the outgoing Younès Kaboul.
In a 2016–17 UEFA Champions League group stage match (which ended in a 0–0 draw) against Bayer Leverkusen on 18 October 2016, Lloris made a string of fine saves, including a spectacular one-handed stop on the goal-line to deny Javier Hernández; Tottenham's manager Mauricio Pochettino described Lloris's performance in the second half as 'brilliant'.On 22 November 2016, Lloris saved Radamel Falcao's 11th-minute penalty and pulled off multiple world-class saves, including incredibly tipping Kamil Glik's powerful volley from five metres out over the bar in the 68th minute, in the 2016–17 UEFA Champions League group stage Group E matchday 5 away match against AS Monaco; however Tottenham lost the match 1-2 and were eliminated from the 2016–17 UEFA Champions League.
In December 2016, Lloris signed a contract extension to remain at Tottenham until 2022.
Lloris has been active on the international front with France, first appearing with the under-18 team making his debut on 11 March 2004 in a friendly match against Germany. He later played with the under-19 team and was part of the winning team at the 2005 European Under-19 Football Championship. Lloris appeared in all five matches the team played in the competition. He made only five appearances with the under-21 team, primarily because of his commitments to the senior team. On 11 October 2008, with the under-21 squad attempting to qualify for the 2009 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship, coach Erick Mombaerts called up Lloris to the team for their important two-legged playoff against Germany, despite Lloris having been called up to the senior team and the player having last played for the team in August 2007. Lloris honored the call up and started the second leg. With France seconds away from a spot in the tournament, because of the team's 1–1 draw in the first leg, Germany got a late goal from Benedikt Höwedes. The 1–0 loss eliminated France from the competition and also ended Lloris's under-21 career.
Lloris received his first call-up to the senior national team for France's 6 February 2008 match against Spain. However, he instead played for the B team in their friendly match against the Congo DR, held the day before the Spain friendly. After receiving several more call ups in 2008, he finally earned his first cap on 19 November 2008 in a 0–0 draw with Uruguay. On 9 September 2009, Lloris received his first international red card, against Serbia, following a foul on Nikola Žigić in the penalty box, despite replays showing otherwise. Lloris returned to the team on 14 October playing the entire 90 minutes in the team's 3–1 win over Austria.
Lloris was applauded by the media and players, alike, for his performance over two legs against the Republic of Ireland that saw France earn a spot in the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Former national team goalkeeper Grégory Coupet credited his performance as "phenomenal", while the French media branded him "Saint Lloris", which is a play on the nickname of Real Madrid counterpart Iker Casillas, who was considered one of the top goalkeepers in Europe at the time.
On 11 May 2010, Lloris was named in Domenech's 30-man preliminary squad to participate in the 2010 World Cup, later being named to the final 23-man team and installed as first-choice goalkeeper. On 11 June 2010, Lloris made his World Cup debut in the team's opening group stage match against Uruguay, earning a clean sheet in a 0–0 draw. Lloris appeared in both of France's other group stage matches, against Mexico and hosts South Africa. Against South Africa, Lloris committed a goalkeeping error which resulted in the opening goal for the hosts. He redeemed himself later in the match, however, by producing several saves to limit the South Africans' chances of progressing to the knockout rounds. France lost the match 2–1, which resulted in the hosts' elimination from the competition.
On 17 November 2010, Lloris captained France, for the first time, in the team's 2–1 victory over England at Wembley Stadium. After leading France out six more times on an interim basis, on 28 February 2012, he was named first-choice captain of the national team by manager Laurent Blanc ahead of UEFA Euro 2012.
- As of Match played 18 December 2016
|Club||Season||League||National Cup||League Cup||Continental||Other||Total|
- As of match played 11 November 2016.
- Coupe de France: 2011–12
- Trophée des champions: 2012
- UEFA European Under-19 Football Championship: 2005
- Ligue 1 Goalkeeper of the Year: 2008–09, 2009–10, 2011–12
- Ligue 1 Team of the Year: 2008–09, 2009–10, 2011–12
- UNFP Player of the Month: April 2008, September 2009