Brad Friedel is confident his Tottenham teammate Hugo Lloris can handle the pressure at the Maracana on Friday night, despite critics saying the 27-year-old lacks the experience and qualities for a game of the magnitude of a France v Germany World Cup quarterfinal.
“Lloris has done very well so far in this World Cup,” said Friedel, a Sony Team Ambassador for the tournament. “I covered the France-Ecuador game and I think the French team on the whole is in a very good frame of mind.
“Hugo made two very good saves in that match, even with France being well on top with possession, and he had to come up big. He is a leader on that French team, people look up to him, and I think if France are going to go further in this tournament and get past Germany, they are going to have to count on him.”
Friedel added of Lloris, who will be winning his 62nd cap: “Knowing him as a goalkeeper and as a person, he’s a good one to have to count on.”
In the opposite end at the Maracana is Manuel Neuer, who has won 49 caps and is regarded by some as the best in the world. A Bundesliga winner with Bayern Munich last season, 28-year-old Neuer has been criticized by the German veteran Oliver Kahn, for his risky ‘sweeping’ antics outside the area, something the French attack will be watching out for in Rio.