France skipper Lloris claims England are ready to win trophies
France captain Hugo Lloris reckons England are poised to win a major tournament, though he will do everything in his power to ensure that does not happen in Qatar.
England face France in a World Cup quarter-final on Saturday at Al Bayt Stadium.
It will be the third World Cup meeting between the Three Lions and Les Bleus, with the England winning both of the previous two, a 2-0 victory in 1966 and 3-1 in 1982.
World champions France have only lost one of their past eight meetings with England, suffering a 2-0 defeat in a friendly in November 2015.
With England having reached the semi-finals in Russia and then the final of Euro 2020 last year, Tottenham goalkeeper Lloris, who will be tasked with keeping out an attack that has scored 12 goals in four games in Qatar, knows they must be treated as a major contender.
"To be honest, if we compare both sides there were more English players In Russia than French players," Lloris said in a press conference when asked if France's triumph in Russia gave them the edge.
"If you look at the England squad there were finalists and runners-up at the Euros and a real progression.
"Their team is mature and ready to compete and go for trophies. They were unlucky at the Euros, they came very close.
"For our side there has been a lot of changes, a new generation that are ready to compete, they play in the best teams in Europe, but we have a good mixture of experience and younger players.
"We try to become stronger step by step and we have to be ready to challenge England. It's going to be a big battle."
Didier Deschamps was also complimentary of France's opponents and believes Gareth Southgate is unfairly maligned by some sections of the British media.
"They don't have any," Deschamps replied when asked what weaknesses England have that France could exploit.
"You talk about the British media but you [the French press] also ask tough questions of the team sometimes. All teams have strengths, not many of them have too many weaknesses, just some slightly less strong points.
"I very much like Gareth, we've met on a number of occasions, talked about a number of things. It seems not everyone appreciates him so much in his own country.
"That’s not because he's not a good footballer, he had a distinguished career, and he's also a very good coach. He's enabled England to get some very good results, I very much like him."