Saturday’s announcement that longtime Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris had joined Los Angeles Football Club on a permanent transfer gave the international football world a holiday jolt and continued the Black & Gold’s run of success in attracting European top-division legends. The move also heightened interest in the man who’s now in charge of keeping LAFC’s net empty. Here are a half-dozen nuggets that offer an inside look at the former France captain.
Lloris, 37, was born in Nice, France, a picturesque town on the French Riviera where the southeastern coast of France meets the Mediterranean Sea. Lloris began his football career with his hometown club, OGC Nice of Ligue 1, joining their academy at age 10.
Nice, with a population of around a million people, is 900 kilometers southwest of Paris but just 30 kilometers east of France’s border with Italy.
World Cup Veteran
Lloris will be the first World Cup champion to ever play for LAFC. He has played in four World Cups in all (2010, 2014, 2018, 2022), raising the trophy in 2018 when France defeated Croatia in the final.
One year ago last week he was playing in his second World Cup final, against Argentina, a match that is considered one of the greatest finals in World Cup history. Argentina defeated France on penalty kicks following a 3-3 draw. Lloris memorably kept France in the match in the seventh minute of added time (90+7) when he made a leaping save of a Lionel Messi drive from 20 yards out.
Lloris has played more matches for France than any player in the country’s history and captained Les Bleus in their three most recent World Cup appearances: 2014, 2018, and 2022. (Thierry Henry was France’s captain at the 2010 World Cup.)
Lloris served as Spurs’ captain from 2015 to 2023. While with Tottenham, Lloris played with former LAFC winger Gareth Bale during the 2012-13 season—Bale’s last season in London before he joined Real Madrid. Lloris and Bale became Tottenham teammates again during the 2020-21 season, when Bale joined Spurs for one year. They appeared in the same starting XI more than 35 times during those two campaigns.
Lloris posted 127 clean sheets in the English Premier League, 12th all-time in EPL history. Lloris is one of only 17 goalkeepers to record more than 100 clean sheets in the Premier League.
Lloris was in goal and wearing the captain’s armband in the 2019 UEFA Champions League semifinal, when Spurs roared back from a 2-0 deficit and Lucas Moura scored an incredible last-second goal that sent Tottenham to the UCL final.
Lloris was featured prominently in the acclaimed “All or Nothing” docuseries on Amazon Prime, which documented Spurs’ 2019-20 season.
Lloris’ first love was tennis. The player he most admired was Los Angeles’ own Pete Sampras. “He’s the only sportsperson I had a poster of__,” Lloris recalled.
During a break in tennis practice when Lloris was in grade school, he and his friends began playing soccer.
Lloris told French radio station Europe 1 in 2022: “It was in the tennis club that I started to dive around. Don’t ask me why, but I wanted to go in goal and to get in amongst my friends’ feet, to go and block balls head first. The boss of the restaurant, who was also an amateur goalkeeper, said to me instantly, ‘you have to go and play football,’ and that’s how things started.”
"I believe what attracted me to being a keeper so early in life was the responsibility that came with it."
Lloris turned 37 the day after Christmas. He and his wife, Marine, have three children between five and 13 years of age.
Lloris had his pick of destinations following his 11-year stay at Tottenham. The North London club allowed him to weigh his options over the last few months. “I think he deserves that respect, to garner the direction of his own future,” said Spurs manager Ange Postecoglou, adding that Lloris was “not only an outstanding goalkeeper but an outstanding human.”
The Athletic recently called Lloris a “World Cup winner who still has plenty to give,” and “a hugely respected and still extremely capable goalkeeper who until very recently was both Spurs’ and France’s No. 1.”
Summer reports linked Lloris with a potential move to Saudi Arabia’s first division in late summer 2023, as well as a return to OGC Nice, his hometown club, among other options in Europe’s “Big Five” leagues.
“Playing prospects and the sporting project [are] the real drivers behind a player’s decision, much more so than financial conditions,” Lloris said at the time. “My professional journey has shown how much that exchange, of sharing and collective growth, have always forged my decisions.”