Captain of the French national team and backbone of its stingy defense, goalkeeper Hugo Lloris is no rookie to facing pressure. The veteran custodian has time and again risen to the challenge for club and country and stands as my Athlete CRUSH for his stunning athleticism and match-altering Skill.
Nicknamed Saint Lloris, the agile shot-stopper has been just that for France and Tottenham – a saint. In his native country, Lloris has won 3 Ligue 1 Goalkeeper of the Year awards. During the ’09-’10 season, he led Lyon to its first ever UEFA Champions League semi-final before making the jump to the English Premier League in 2012. This past season, the Tottenham Hotspur captain helped Spurs to its best finish since the ’89-’90 season.
His consistent production and reliable hands have made him a most precious commodity between the pipes. For the French national team, Lloris has proven just as valuable. With 79 appearances since 2008 and a slew of shining moments, the shot-stopper has Les Bleus faithful thinking savior à la Joan of Arc.
The French national teams of 1998 and 2000, which won the World Cup and European Championship, respectively, were anchored by stalwart defenses; defenders Marcel Desailly and Lilian Thuram, as well as goalkeeper Fabien Barthez, helped ensure both squads could rely on strong foundations. The current French team may just be able to follow their predecessors to glory, thanks in large part to Lloris and a solid defensive base.
Lloris, unlike many goalkeepers, is a true difference maker, made possible by his uncanny reflexes and top-shelf athletic ability. Whether sprawling, airborne, or one-on-one, his saves amaze supporters as much as they confound opponents. The video above details some his best saves and provides a glimpse of what this man is capable of.
Lloris’ Skill is a spectacle to watch. With class and humility, he exemplifies what it means to be a true all-around goalkeeper. His capacity for producing world-class stops and frustrating forwards has made him one of the best keepers in the world and one of the best to ever suit up for Les Bleus.
As he and France aim for their next major trophy, one thing is certain – opposing teams will need a stroke of genius to find the back of the net. Otherwise, the divine touch of Saint Lloris could very well have the French nation primed and ready for another international triumph.
Written by Athlete CRUSH Staff
Posted 3 July 2016