France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris has played down expectations ahead of their Euro 2016 opener, but the squad understand the importance of this summer’s tournament.
The Les Bleus captain will be between the sticks in the Group A curtain-raiser against Romania on Friday night and is eager to get their campaign underway. However, he disagreed with the general consensus that France are the favourites to win the competition.
“We don’t feel like favourites at all. We haven’t done anything, we haven’t proved anything thus far,” he told reporters.
“Playing on home soil gives us a positive and we have to make the most of that. We have won nine of our last 10 matches at home and that gives us a degree of confidence but everything still needs to be done.”
Lloris also revealed that the French squad are aware of the importance of Euro 2016 and that the blood is pumping as they try to deliver major success on home soil for a third time.
“Listen, I won’t hide the fact from you that we felt something different because we left Clairefontaine [France’s training base] and came across some fans as we checked into the team hotel,” he added.
“There was a rise in our adrenaline levels. There are expectations and we are looking forward to the Romania match.
“Clearly it’s the most important competition of all of our careers. If you were to ask that same question to my team-mates they would answer in the same fashion.”