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Lloris opens up on Spurs exit and ‘amazing’ football under Ange

“It’s exactly what I was looking for.”

As I’m sat with former Tottenham and France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, we are overlooking downtown Los Angeles.

It is his first time in this area since signing for Los Angeles FC at the end of December and he is the latest star name to arrive in the ‘City of Angels’.

Previous notable players who have joined LAFC since their inception in 2014 include Carlos Vela, Giorgio Chiellini and Lloris’ former Spurs team-mate Gareth Bale – all names he kept an eye on as they moved to the United States.

While skyscrapers surround us – the sounds of the city apparent with LAPD choppers circling in the sky, cars beeping down below us from the 70th floor – as we prepare to chat Lloris is a calm presence in a place he now calls home.

Hugo Lloris (left) with Sky Sports News' Danyal Khan in Los Angeles
Image: Lloris (left) with Sky Sports News’ Danyal Khan in Los Angeles

“I am excited to be in LA, to have a new life experience. I’m still waiting for my family but they’re coming very soon,” Lloris told Sky Sports.

“The LAFC opportunity came up in early December and everything went really fast with also the help of Tottenham – I’m excited to start a new chapter of my career.

“I had many options but it’s exactly what I was looking for, a different culture, different continent and I’m so glad to give myself and my family this opportunity.

“I think probably if I refused… I’d regret it in the future.”

Saying goodbye to Spurs

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Lloris delivered an emotional farewell message to the Tottenham fans ahead of his move to Los Angeles FC following 11 years at the club

When Lloris stepped out at half-time on to the pitch to say farewell to the Tottenham fans as they took on Bournemouth on New Year’s Eve it felt like a significant moment.

It officially ended Lloris’ time at Spurs, the club he was captain of and had led for so many years.

Lloris described that moment: “It was really emotional – even if I’m the type of person to keep everything inside.

“Spending my last moment as a Spurs footballer with Daniel Levy and my family was something really important to me but also to say goodbye to the Spurs fans.”

It is perhaps easy to forget that Lloris led Tottenham through a lot of change in his 11-and-a-half years at the club.

He saw the end of Spurs’ time at White Hart Lane, then through the “Wembley experience” as he describes it, as well as their first game at the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Tottenham Hotspur's goalkeeper captain Hugo Lloris, left, and Harry Kane celebrate together after the final whistle in their 4-1 win over Manchester City in the English Premier League soccer match between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City at White Hart Lane stadium in London, Saturday, Sept. 26, 2015.
Image: Lloris celebrates Tottenham’s 4-1 win over Man City in 2015 with Harry Kane

On the pitch, Lloris also spoke glowingly about his time under Mauricio Pochettino and how his best spell at Spurs came under the now-Chelsea manager. So with all of that considered, what are his favourite memories at Spurs?

“It’s difficult to pick only one memory. The last game at White Hart Lane was special, I still have a jersey signed by all the players and the coaching staff,” said Lloris.

“There was also the Champions League campaign which was an amazing experience to share with all the Spurs fans, that night in Ajax… everybody will remember that night.

“I would have loved to win trophies but I think the Premier League is a tough place, so many big clubs could afford more than Tottenham, but the most important thing for me is I came to one place and I leave it on a different level.”

The new Ange era

File photo dated 28-12-2023 of Tottenham Hotspur manager Ange Postecoglou who will hope fit-again Giovani Lo Celso can provide the creative spark for Tottenham when Bournemouth visit on Sunday. Issue date: Saturday December 30, 2023.
Image: Ange Postecoglou has reinvented Spurs’ style

After this season’s departures of Harry Kane, Eric Dier and now Lloris, there are only two players who remain from the Spurs side that faced Liverpool in the Champions League final in 2019. They are Heung-Min Son and Ben Davies.

Couple that with Postecoglou’s fresh approach and style of play, the eras of Pochettino, Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte feel well in the past as a new era begins.

But does it feel like that to Lloris?

“Yes but that was the discussion with Daniel Levy at the end of last season, I could feel it was the end of a generation and that probably the club will need to go in a new direction,” Lloris said.

“With freshness, with new and young players and with a different football approach and it’s working really well at the moment – I’m glad for the club.

Hugo Lloris

“Even if I wasn’t involved in the last six months at Spurs, it was really interesting to see the Ange Postecoglou approach of football. To be part of the meetings, every training session, to understand his demands… I’m not really surprised the way he has impacted the football style at Spurs and he can only become better with time.”

It would be understandable for Lloris, a World Cup-winning captain, to look back on those last six months with a twinge of regret having not been more involved under Postecoglou.

Instead, when speaking to him, he is someone ready for this new chapter in the United States while also being full of admiration for the work that is being done at his former club.

Brennan Johnson celebrates scoring a late winner for Spurs
Image: Brennan Johnson celebrates scoring a late winner for Spurs

“I think today being a Spurs fan is becoming really exciting and they are playing amazing football,” Lloris said.

“Ange has made a huge impact in a short time, we all want to see what is the limit of this team. Success cannot be built in a few months or a year but they are going in the right direction.

“Especially after the last few seasons – we had some ups and downs – but we were not playing the football the fans expected and right now the football is back, so let’s see where it’s going to bring the club.”

As Lloris says goodbye to Spurs and begins a new chapter in LA – one thing is for sure he says with a smile: “I’ll be a Spurs member for the rest of my life.”

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