Hugo Lloris questions FFF’s plan to improve penalties

In an interview with Le Parisien, Hugo Lloris has questioned the viability of the French Football Federation’s plan to improve France’s performances in penalty shootouts through training sessions.

The retired goalkeeper and former captain of the France team that reached two World Cup finals in 2018 and 2022 believes that France’s performances can only be improved through experience rather than a planned system

Lloris points towards the nation that defeated them in 2022 and prevented Les Bleus from winning two World Cup finals in a row. “You have to go through this kind of ordeal to be better. If Argentina appeared so calm in this exercise it is because it had previously won a semi-final of the Copa America 2021 on penalties against Colombia, then a quarter-final against the Netherlands. But they had lost two Copa America finals in 2015 and 2016 after penalties.” 

However, Lloris also suggests that at club level the Argentine players had an advantage over France. “When the Argentinians show up, there are guys who take penalties at club level. With us none, apart from Kylian Mbappé. Experience is gained through defeats. I am convinced if tomorrow the opportunity arises for Kingsley Coman or Aurélien Tchouaméni, they will have this experience. It’s not a trauma, just an experience.

Hugo Lloris on the unique psychology to penalties

The problem for the FFF in attempting to implement their plan is that penalties are part performance and part psychology, and some players are naturally better suited to this environment. 

Lloris admits that this was perhaps a flaw in his game, as he notes “I haven’t been very successful in my career in this aspect even though I have stopped important penalties. When you discuss it with Emiliano Martínez, for him it’s a game, psychological. I do not know how to do it. But that doesn’t mean he won all his penalty shootouts.

GFFN | Nick Hartland

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