Sport news: Lloris-Euro 2016 Has United France Following Tough Times

Hugo Lloris believes Euro 2016 has acted as an escape for the French people and sport has brought the nation together following recent ordeals.

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In November, Paris was the target of terrorist attacks which killed 130 people, including at the Stade de France where Sunday night’s final against Portugal will be played, and the country continues to be in a state of emergency.
Lloris thinks Euro 2016 has aided France’s recovery, though, and the goalkeeper wants to finish the tournament on a positive note to give the country something to celebrate.
He said: “Of course we’ve had some very tough times this year, both with those tragic events but also with events that have gone on off the field.
“But we’re even prouder to be on the pitch, to really feel the entire French population behind us, to feel this happiness which is really shared between the players and the French people.
“That gives us greater strength, it’s lovely to see, but we still have that final step to take to really finish this competition in the best possible fashion.
“I think the French people really needed to escape via this competition and sport has this strength to bring people together, to unite people. You can see that very clearly — we can see that because we are currently experiencing it.
“But we still have one step to take. It’s certainly the hardest one, but it’s well worth it to finish in a good way.”

Les Bleus head into the final buoyed by Thursday’s 2-0 semifinal win against world champions Germany in Marseille.
Lloris believes that display underlined their improving maturity and, while rejecting the notion his team are favourites against Portugal, reckons the future looks bright under coach Deschamps.
“Clearly we went through a crisis in French football, but we’ve been able to really pick ourselves up from that crisis,” Lloris said. “We have overcome things. It wasn’t easy but, step by step, we’ve been able to go through that process.
“The FFF [French Football Federation] deserves a lot of credit for that, as do the players and the head coaches that have taken charge of the French national side.
“But putting together a great team takes a lot of time. If you look at recent times with the Spaniards or indeed the Germans, you can’t have success overnight.
“You can’t simply buy time and experience, but [against Portugal] we have the chance to make history within French football. It is a unique opportunity in a player’s career. You need to make the most of that.
“Our minds will guide us in our efforts. We’ll try and give 100 percent and have no regrets when we step off at the end of the match.”

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