Paris: France want to write football "history" by winning the Euro 2016 final at home six years after a damaging player revolt and as the country recovers from the Paris attacks, captain Hugo Lloris said on Saturday.
With Portugal riding a wave of national fervour ahead tonight's final, France, the home team are suddenly national heroes after several years of scandal and disappointment. The home team are suddenly national heroes after several years of scandal and disappointment. Lloris told of the enormous effort made to lift the French team out of "crisis" and into contention for a potential title and also the impact of the November 13 attacks, which left 130 dead.
'Come through crisis'
"We have come through a crisis in French football," the Tottenham Hotspur goalkeep said. "We have climbed back up the slope, we have done it step by step. But building a great team takes a lot of time. With the Germans and the Spanish, success was not created overnight. You cannot buy experience. "Tomorrow we have the chance to go into French football history, it is a unique time in a player's career," said Lloris.
France midfielder Bacary Sagna (centre) heads the ball towards a teammate during a training session in Paris on Saturday. Pic/AFP
Lloris told how France's run to the final had given the country "an escape" after the trauma of the November 13 attacks, which included suicide bombers trying to get into the national stadium as France played Germany. "Of course we've had some very difficult times this year, both with those tragic events, but also with events that have gone on off the field," he said. "The people really needed to escape via this competition, and sport can unite people."