Hugo Lloris feels weight of France expectation ahead of Euro 2016 final
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 09/07/16 1:14pm
Hugo Lloris believes Euro 2016 has transcended football and united France during a difficult period.
Didier Deschamps' side are looking to follow in the footsteps of the 1984 European Championship-winning side and 1998 World Cup squad by making home advantage count and lifting the trophy on Sunday.
Portugal, inspired by Cristiano Ronaldo, stand in their way at the Stade de France - a ground that 240 days earlier was targeted by terrorists during a night of attacks across Paris, when 130 died in a city still reeling from attacks at the offices of Charlie Hebdo 10 months earlier.
And captain Lloris knows how much glory on Sunday would mean to the country.
"Of course we've had some very tough times this year, both with those tragic events but also with events that have gone on off the field," said the Tottenham goalkeeper.
"But we're even prouder to be on the pitch, to really feel the entire French population behind us, to feel this happiness which is really shared between the players and the French people.
"That gives us greater strength, it's lovely to see, but we still have that final step to take to really finish this competition in the best possible fashion.
"I think the French people really needed to escape via this competition and sport has this strength to bring people together, to unite people.
"You can see that very clearly - we can see that because we are currently experiencing it.
"But we still have one step to take. It's certainly the hardest one, but it's well worth it to finish in a good way."