A talented goalkeeper, Hugo Lloris was snapped up by Tottenham, ahead of other clubs who dithered over his signing, to make him a bargain buy at in a late swoop at the end of the summer 2012 transfer window.
Coming from a family where his mother was a lawyer and
his father a Monte Carlo banker, sport was a passion in
the children. His young brother is a central
defender in the Nice Academy and Hugo was a promising tennis player in his younger days, but
choose football, toying with the idea of being a
striker, but chose to go in goal, with Peter Schmeichel
his idol. Hugo started playing aged just six with a
local cultural centre in Nice, where his abilities in
handling the ball impressed former Nice keeper Dominique
Baratelli, who informed his old club of Lloris'
potential. Progressing through the age groups at the
club, he was the goalie when the Under-18s won the
equivalent of the 2003-04 league title. In 2004-05 he
made the reserve team and became a teenage debutant with
his home-town club OGC Nice, helping the team to reach
the 2006 Coupe de la Ligue Final, where they lost 1-2 to
Lloris could have joined Spurs (to replace Paul Robinson) or AC Milan from Nice in 2008, but chose to join the French champions Olympique Lyonnais for £10 million, citing more opportunity to play in the first team and Champions League football on a regular basis. Winning several domestic awards in his first season with Lyon, Hugo made an immediate impression and in his second season, his goalkeeping helped Lyon reach the Champions League semi-finals for the first time in the club's history. He went on to play 40 times in the Champions League and become an international with France, having represented his nation at under-18 and under-21 level, including a place in the under-19 team that won the 2005 European U19 Championships (with Younes Kaboul in defence in front of him). Hugo went to South Africa with France in the World Cup finals of 2010, but they did not emerge from the group stage, but later that year, he captained his country for the first time in a 2-1 friendly win over England at Wembley.
There were a number of other clubs across the continent interested in Hugo, but Spurs stole a march on them by moving quickly to sign him, despite a row with the Olympique Lyonnais president Jean-Michel Aulas. Daniel Levy got his way and signed the French keeper for Ä10 million with another Ä5 million on conditions being met.
There was more controversy when Hugo started at Tottenham, as he was not immediately introduced into the team, but had to wait to displace the incumbent Brad Friedel, but when he got the chance, he showed what a good keeper he was, often being used behind the back four to sweep up with Andre Villas-Boas preferring to play a high line with his defence. Very good when one on one and has developed a style for dealing with high crosses, using his punch very well.