Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris has said his ban for drink driving brought him closer to manager Mauricio Pochettino.
Pochettino raced over to embrace Lloris following the 3-0 win at Manchester United in August, which came just three days after the World Cup winner had been arrested in London.
“It is a special and strong relationship, and has been from the start — ever since his first telephone call after the 2014 World Cup,” the 32-year-old told L’Equipe. “I was immediately convinced.
“I remember Manchester very well. I know what happened from the inside, and he was there, as were his staff. It’s an accident that serves as a lesson to you, and you move on.
“There was a lot of reaction, but you have to stay outside of all that. I made a mistake. I accept it and I’m still accepting it, because 20 months without your licence — now I have all the taxi apps.”
Meanwhile, Lloris has urged the club to make significant signings in the summer transfer window following a season of inactivity in order to show “ambition at every level.”
Spurs became the first English club since the introduction of the transfer window not to make an addition last summer — and followed that up by failing to bring anyone in in January.
“There are top quality players in our squad who could play for any club in the world and who train every day to win,” Lloris said. “But there is the risk that they run out of steam.
“We all now need to feel the ambition of the club at every level. I love the club; I love the people here. Winning something here would have a sense. I can see the difference between the state of the club when I arrived and today.
“We manage to be very competitive with a completely different philosophy to our rivals. To give us even more credit, we have to win something. We’re going to have one of the most beautiful stadiums in the world, and that’s great, but we have to accompany that progression: I think it will be very difficult to take a step up without recruiting.”
Pochettino’s success as manager at Spurs has made him heavily linked with the job at United following Jose Mourinho’s sacking in December.
With Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s successful interim at Old Trafford, it is less likely Pochettino will leave for Manchester, and Lloris said the ex-Argentina international is crucial to Spurs’ hopes of success.
“The Tottenham project is the Mauricio Pochettino project,” he said. “He has been there years — he has done extraordinary work and even though he’s not yet been rewarded with trophies, it’s very, very high level stuff.
“I’m not going to hide it. It’s more than a classic captain-coach relationship. But we know how to separate things. There is a lot of respect between us.”