Lloris: World Cup 2010 strike belongs to the past

The Tottenham goalkeeper was a member of the squad that boycotted training in South Africa four years ago but he just wants to put the whole affair behind him
Hugo Lloris insisted that France's infamous strike at the 2010 World Cup is the last thing on the players' minds ahead of Friday's crucial Group E clash with Switzerland.

The Tottenham goalkeeper was a member of the squad that boycotted training ahead of their game against hosts South Africa four years ago following the expulsion of forward Nicolas Anelka due to a dispute with coach Raymond Domenech.

The controversy remains a contentious issue within French football and it was raised again when Patrice Evra, who was captain in 2010 and subsequently banned for five games for his role in the strike, faced the media on Wednesday.

However, Lloris says the players just want to put the whole affair behind them.

"Honestly, we don't have what happened in 2010 in mind," he told reporters in Salvador on Thursday.

"We're just focusing and concentrating on this World Cup. What happened in 2010 belongs in the past.

"It's good that Patrice [Evra] came and spoke [to the media]. But this team is here to live its own World Cup adventure, hopefully with the best possible results.

"Tomorrow [Friday] we have a very strong opponent and we will have to have a great match to win."

Indeed, Lloris is hoping that midfield starlet Paul Pogba is at his brilliant best.

The Juventus ace was told that he needed to learn how to exercise "total control" by France boss Didier Deschamps after running the risk of a red card in their tournament-opening win over Honduras and Lloris is no doubt that the 21-year-old will take the coach's advice.

"Paul is a very talented player with a lot of potential," the shot-stopper enthused. "He could become one of the best players of his generation but he's still young.

"He has to experience this kind of event to grow. He's very smart. He listens to you. He's very ambitious.

"He'll do his best tomorrow [Friday] and I hope he'll be decisive."

Lloris, though, has the utmost respect for Switzerland, who are ranked sixth in the world and boast the fourth youngest side in the competition.

"I think that the Swiss are a strong opponent that we must take very seriously," he warned. "They're a fine team: young, promising and very ambitious.

"Their qualifying campaign was excellent. They're not here by the chance. They have some great players playing in the best championships in Europe.

"This game will be tough, a real challenge."