The opening game of the 2016 European Championship gets underway on Friday night in Paris, with hosts and favorites France taking on relative European minnows Romania.
France are expected to kick off the tournament with a victory and, given the crop of world stars at their disposal, could turn on the style and set down a marker for their rivals.
France captain and goalkeeper Hugo Lloris faced the media on Thursday and admits he and his teammates are facing the most important tournament of their careers.
“I won’t hide the fact, this morning, we felt something different because we left Clairefontaine and moved towards the Stade de France and were able to meet some fans as we checked into the team hotel. There was a gradual rise in our adrenaline levels. We can’t wait for the opening match.
Spurs goalie Lloris speaks about the loyal support of the French public
“Clearly it’s the most important competition of all of our careers. All my teammates would answer in the same fashion.”
All behind the team
The Tottenham player added: “As long as you have the right mindset, the desire to win challenges and a competitive spirit, if we harness that, we can achieve great things.
“The French public expect a real show but they’ll be even further behind us if they see the French side winning football matches.”
Despite Lloris’s enthusiasm, France coach Didier Deschamps will be wary of the threat a solid Romania side pose, particularly given the injury crisis at the heart of the French defense.