France goalkeeper and captain Hugo Lloris has warned his team-mates they will have to dig deep if they want to beat Morocco on Wednesday night to earn a place in their second World Cup final in four years.
The reigning champions are favorites against Morocco, who have become the first African team to reach the World Cup semi-finals, but addressing the press before the match, Lloris warned Morocco will want more.
“It is a unique opportunity for both sides to get to the final. Obviously, it is already a success for Morocco but believe me they won’t want to stop here. They want to become even greater heroes for their country,” he advised, pointing out Morocco have already “beaten Belgium, Spain and Portugal and finished first in a very tough group – that tells you they are a quality side and will be tough opponents.”
Lloris also warned the stands will be full of Morocco fans.
“It is going to be a raucous atmosphere, tough to concentrate, but we have to remain focused and be very precise in terms of our tactical discussions before and during the match,” the goalkeeper said.
“We are going to have to perform. That comes from working hard together, being mentally strong and scoring more goals than your opponents. That is what football comes down to.”
Lloris also stressed the need to be patient against a rival that has only conceded one goal all tournament – and that was an own goal.
“We need to ensure we are patient but at the same time go for it and try to break them down as early as possible in the match, while staying balanced to avoid being hit on the counter-attack,” he said.
He also revealed he had been in contact with Tottenham clubmate Harry Kane after the England striker missed a penalty that would have taken Saturday’s quarter-final between the two sides to extra time.
“We had a text after the game. It was not easy to find the words. He needed some time to rest. In football history many top players have missed penalties in their career – Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo – but I have no doubt Harry will keep his chin up and help Tottenham and the national team shine,” commented Lloris.- Advertisement -