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Lenglet salutes ‘legend’ Lloris as France prepare for Morocco semi-final

Clement Lenglet saluted “legend” Hugo Lloris, backing his France and Tottenham team-mate to lead Les Bleus into another World Cup final. Lloris is just two wins away from becoming the first captain to lift the World Cup trophy on two occasions, with the reigning champions continuing their title defence against Morocco in the semi-finals on Wednesday. The goalkeeper earned a record-breaking 143rd France appearance in their 2-1 victory over England in the quarter-finals, surpassing Lilian Thuram (142) in the process. Lenglet – Lloris’ compatriot and colleague at club level – paid tribute to the 35-year-old on Tottenham’s official website. “I’m so proud of Hugo, it’s such a big achievement,” the defender said. “For a long time, Lilian Thuram was the number one, now Hugo is the new number one, and reaching the number in such a big game against England, where he played very well. “To all French people, he’s a legend because he’s a very good person, a very good professional, an amazing goalkeeper. He’s one of the best players in the history of the French national team. “Hopefully, he’ll have two more caps at the World Cup. He can make history. It’s a long way yet, you have to think game by game – Morocco next. But as I said, it would be a big, big achievement for him [to lift the trophy again].” Morocco, the first African nation to reach the World Cup semi-finals, stand in France’s way of a potential clash with Argentina or Croatia in Sunday’s showpiece. The Atlas Lions are the first side to progress to the last four having not conceded a single goal scored by an opposing player since Italy in 2006. However, Lenglet is confident of a French victory. “It’s a big game for both teams,” he added. “We are happy to play an African team in the semi-final. I’m sure we will see a game with a lot of intensity and duels, they are very, very strong. “I believe France has the experience, they won a difficult game against England when, during the game, it was not always easy. When you win that type of game, you are completely ready. I think France will do it, they have all the quality to do it again.”

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