By Alex Al-Kazzaz
Longtime goalkeeper and captain for the French National Team Hugo Lloris is officially done with international soccer. The 36-year-old goalie is France's most capped player with a total of 145 appearances for Les Bleus. After 14 years of representing France, Lloris has officially named AC Milan goalie Mike Maignan as the man to should succeed him.
Lloris was called up to the national team on February 6th, 2008, but did not earn his first cap until November of that year in an exhibition game against Uruguay. He was named in the squad for France for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. He kept a clean sheet in France's opening game against Uruguay, but conceded twice against Mexico and South Africa as France crashed out of the tournament.
In an exhibition game game against England in November 2010, Lloris captained France for the first time in a 2-1 win. He went on captain France at the 2012 Euro and 2014 World Cup where the team exited the respective tournaments in the quarterfinals. At Euro 16, Lloris helped France reach the final, but France fell short.
At the 2018 World Cup, Lloris captained France to its first world title triumph since 1998. He kept three clean sheets in the tournament, and in the semifinal game against Belgium, he arguably had one of the best performances of his career. In 2021, he captained France to another title as Les Bleus hoisted the UEFA Nations League title.
Lloris recently captained France to another World Cup final where France fell to Argentina in a penalty shoot-out. After leading France to a total four competitive finals and captaining 121 games for France, Lloris retires from international duty on a high note. He has served his country well and it's time for a new goalie to take over.
France is still dealing their painful heartbreaking loss in the World Cup final. The team will begin it's Euro 2024 qualification phase in March against The Netherlands. France is under major pressure moving forward. The national team has a major plethora of talent, so there are no excuses for them to not win a title moving forward.
The time has come for the national team to begin grooming its next golden generation. In France's case, perhaps coming short in the World Cup final is part of a story that will end in a glorious title triumph. For now, it's time for the team to redesign.