Hugo Lloris has admitted Tottenham fans ‘deserve more’ from the team while outlining his desire to deliver silverware for them after putting pen to paper on a new two-year contract.
Lloris, 35, was set to become a free agent at the end of June until he signed an extension last month, keeping him at the north London club until 2024.
The France goalkeeper has spent close to a decade with Spurs after joining from Lyon in 2012, making almost 400 appearances in between the sticks and helping them reach their first ever Champions League final in 2019.
After getting his new deal over the line, Lloris insisted he was always looking to continue his love affair with both Spurs and English football.
Hugo Lloris has outlined his desire to deliver silverware for Tottenham fans in the future
‘My story with Tottenham was one I wanted to continue,’ he told The Times. ‘That was really clear in my mind. I’ve shown loyalty towards the club and it’s really important for me.
‘The last six months there was a lot of talk outside the building, not from myself and not from the club, that created a lot of speculation or rumours. I needed to listen to myself and to understand what is my ambition now? It was really important after nine and a half years to understand myself if I’m ready to continue at this high level.
‘When I started my career, 35 was a target. I came closer and closer to this age and realised I feel really good and I don’t see my level dropping.
Lloris recently put pen to paper on a new two-and-a-half-year contract in north London
The Frenchman insists he was desperate to continue his love affair with English football
‘I enjoy football at the high level and the Premier League is the best league in the world and probably the most intense league in the world. I want to enjoy it as much as I can, more than before because when you’re young you focus so much on competition that you lose a bit the taste of ‘it’s a privilege to play football’.
‘So the answer is I feel ready for the challenge for the next two years at least . . . at least! . . . in my mind and in my body.’
Despite turning 35 in December, Lloris remains one of the best goalkeepers the Premier League has to offer, meaning it was a no brainer for Spurs to extend his stay at the club.
The Nice-born star first spotted his shot-stopping qualities after taking up tennis at the age of 13, with former world No 1 Pete Sampras inspiring him to try out a sport with similar demands and requirements to that of a goalkeeper.
Tennis icon Pete Sampras was the surprise inspiration for Lloris to become a goalkeeper
‘I was a big fan of Pete Sampras and his faculty to serve and to attack and to volley next to the net,’ he said.
‘I started tennis before football. I really like this sport but with time I put so much focus in football. Then with family and kids, I stepped back a little bit from tennis even if I try to play during holidays.
‘There’s a lot of similarity between tennis and goalkeepers in movement, reaction and reading the ball. You need to read the game well and always be connected with what’s happening in front of you even if the ball’s in the opposite half. You need to be ready to go outside your box if the ball goes behind your defence.
‘Another aspect is the individual feelings. As a keeper, there is individual responsibility towards the team and defending the goal. You know a mistake can cause big damage to your team. The tennis player is the same: every point can be decisive. This is the important mental aspect.’
Lloris explained how there are many similarities between goalkeeping and playing tennis
The one thing missing from Lloris’ successful nine-and-a-half-year stint at Spurs is silverware. He has come close on three occasions, suffering defeat in two League Cup finals and also coming up short in the 2019 Champions League showpiece.
And with the FA Cup still up for grabs this season, he has assured the club’s supporters that he will ‘give more’ to end their 14-year wait for a trophy.
‘They deserve more. I just want to give my best and give more. I know they’re waiting for a trophy.
‘We had some great times at Spurs especially during the Mauricio Pochettino era when we were close, very close. When we had the team ready for competing for a trophy and we were at the perfect maturity, playing with each other for many, many years and we knew each other well, there was always a new challenge.’
The 35-year-old wants to end Spurs’ end for silverware after coming close on three occasions
He suffered defeat in three cup finals under the reign of former boss Mauricio Pochettino
The FA Cup is the only piece of silverware still up for grabs for Spurs in the 2021/22 campaign
Spurs are yet to reach the same heights of Pochettino’s reign since his controversial departure in 2019, with successors Jose Mourinho, Nuno Espirito Santo and now Antonio Conte all struggling to produce consistent results for the club.
Under Pochettino, they secured Champions League qualification in each of his last four full seasons, but the last two without him have brought sixth and seventh-place finishes.
The Argentine’s tenure quickly unravelled in 2019, nevertheless, as key players such as Dele Alli saw their form plummet dramatically.
Alli in particular has never failed to replicate the electric form he enjoyed under Pochettino, meaning he was sent out on loan to Everton last month.
He is also desperate to see team-mate Dele Alli ‘enjoy football’ again on loan at Everton
‘I really like Dele,’ Lloris added. ‘We had some great times at Spurs but also it’s important that players find new challenges.
‘Sometimes the new challenge is not at the same place. Dele has to go to another place but the most important thing is I want to see Dele with a smile. I wanted Dele to enjoy football and I know it was a bit complicated the last two years for him, a lot of inconsistency in terms of games played, but that’s part of the career.
‘It’s never easier for anyone, even the best players in the world have some up and downs.’