Lloris puts France World Cup quarter-final spot above personal milestone

Corbis Sport

Hugo Lloris says personal milestones will be put to one side as he attempts to help France into the World Cup quarter-finals on Sunday.

Les Bleus meet Poland in a last-16 clash in Doha that will see Lloris equal Lilian Thuram's record of 142 caps for France.

It represents a landmark moment for the Tottenham goalkeeper, who made his international debut against Uruguay 14 years ago, but he was quick to train his focus on securing victory for his country at Al Thumama Stadium.

"It's quite something and I am very honoured to reach that figure and that number of caps, but it's a day before a last-16 game, so that [the record] is of course secondary," he said.

"The World Cup is the most important thing and I am 100 per cent focused on tomorrow's game. It's going to be a battle and we will all need to be 100 per cent focused.

"I will appreciate reaching that record once the tournament is over."

The main threat to Lloris' hopes of celebrating his achievement with a clean sheet is Poland striker Robert Lewandowski. The Barcelona star finally broke his World Cup duck in the group stage and appears to be growing into the tournament.

Lloris added: "Lewandowski is one of the best number nines in the world and has been for some time now. He's an important player for Poland but we are facing a team that defends well, that works hard, and then you have Lewandowski up front and he is clinical.

"Also, they have Wojciech Szczesny, who has played a magical tournament in goal.

"Poland deserve to be here. We have been trying to analyse their matches to see what type of game we will be facing. There's also a mental element that comes in at this stage so we will have to be ready."

The knockout phase could see matches decided by penalty shoot-outs and, although Lloris will do his homework, the 35-year-old concedes it may come down to luck.

"We have all the tools at our disposal to analyse penalty taking but there is always a bit of chance," he said. "You can study what has happened before and then the penalty taker does the opposite of what you're expecting.

"You can prepare but there's always an element of instinct that comes into play. If the penalty is well taken you have little chance of saving it."

It was a shoot-out that accounted for France at the European Championship last year, Les Bleus going down 5-4 to Switzerland after a pulsating 3-3 last-16 draw in Bucharest.

That was a painful afternoon for the world champions and coach Didier Deschamps was not keen to spend too long reminiscing.

"We don't talk about the past," he said. "I don't think it's worth it, especially a match that we've lost. Now we are facing another round of 16 game but it's not the same opponent.

"We try to approach each match in a similar way. The group phase games were all difficult and now we have the best 16 teams in the world, even if you might not think so on paper. The games are getting tougher and we are going to have to be at our best."