France’s World Cup-winning captain Hugo Lloris announced his retirement from international football at the age of 36 on Monday.
The Tottenham goalkeeper made a record 145 appearances for France and captained Les Bleus as they won the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
“There comes a time when you have to know how to hand over the reins,” he told French newspaper L’Equipe in an interview.
“I have always said over and over again that the French team doesn’t belong to anyone, and we all have to make sure that’s the case, me first.
“I think that the team is ready to go on. There is also a goalkeeper who is ready [Mike Maignan].”
The goalkeeper made his international debut in 2008 and captained the team a record 121 times.
“I prefer to go out at my peak than wait for a downturn,” he added. “There is also a family choice, I feel the need to spend more time with my wife and children.”
Along with the 2018 World Cup, Lloris also won the 2021 Nations League and guided France to the final of the 2016 European Championship.
Lloris’ final game with the national team came in the 2022 World Cup final where Argentina defeated France 4-2 in a penalty shootout after a thrilling 3-3 match.
“Hugo is still at his best and I have, we have, to respect his decision even if he still had his place in our team as we saw at the World Cup,” France coach Didier Deschamps said.
“It’s a great servant of the France national team retiring and I want to praise his incredible international career. Beyond all the records he beat, beyond the essential role he had in all our success, he is a remarkable person on the human side.
“It was a joy and an honour to be his coach. I wish every manager to have a player like him in their squad. I wish all the happiness. A huge thank you Hugo for having represented your country so well.”
ESPN’s Julien Laurens and Reuters contributed to this report.