The French World Cup winning captain, Hugo Lloris, avoided jail but was fined 20 months and fined £ 50,000 ($ 65,000) on Wednesday for driving under the influence of alcohol in central London. The Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper called his behavior "unacceptable" and received a lighter sentence from a judge who could have locked up the star for six months. "On July 15, he was the most proud man on the planet," said lawyer David Sonn, referring to the day when Lloris and his French team lifted the World Cup trophy in Moscow. "Forty days later, he was arrested in central London," the lawyer said. "Today he apologizes to the court."
Lloris was one of the heroes of the French commanding march to his second World Cup in 20 years. The triumph turned the 31-year-old into a national hero and confirmed his status as one of the most respected goalkeepers in the world. But Lloris' dream became a nightmare when his Porsche was stopped by a routine stop in central London at 2:20 am on August 24.
The tabloid Daily Mail said that Lloris registered 100 micrograms of alcohol per 100 milliliters of breath at a police checkpoint.
The amount is approximately seven glasses of wine, although alcohol levels depend on multiple factors, such as age, sex and metabolism.
The limit of legal handling in England in a breathalyzer test is 35 micrograms.
"I want to apologize wholeheartedly to my family, the club, my teammates, the manager and all the supporters," Lloris said earlier in a statement.
"Driving under the influence of alcohol is completely unacceptable, I take full responsibility for my actions and it is not the example I wish to establish."
Police said Lloris almost hit parked cars and went through a red light. They found the vomit in the car after stopping it.
Lloris spent seven hours in a cell that night before returning home on foot.
– Taxi canceled –
His lawyer said Lloris knew he should not have been driving and had called a taxi after a night out.
"I had booked a taxi but unfortunately the taxi was canceled at the last minute," said Sonn. "He made a first mistake: he decided to drive."
The married father of two children looked stoic and dressed impeccably in a dark suit and a blue shirt while making his way silently through a crush on
reporters in the courtroom.
Lloris missed the opening matches of France at the opening of the UEFA League of Nations. France coach Didier Deschamps attributed the absence of his keeper to a thigh injury and gave Lloris full support.
"He knows very well that it should not happen, but it happened and it's not going to change what I think about him and Hugo Lloris that I've always known," Deschamps said.
Lloris was spectacular during the World Cup and he did not score a goal either in France's tough quarterfinal against Uruguay or in his semi-final against a dangerous Belgian team.
He made a mistake once in the final against Croatia, but his team still prevailed 4-2.
But Lloris' London club now has to ponder what to do with its starting goalkeeper after his conviction for a serious driving offense.
Tottenham has won three of his first four games and placed fifth in the English Premier League.
A spokesman for the team said before the ruling that Tottenham was treating the whole matter "extremely seriously."
Lloris has made 256 appearances for Tottenham since joining the French club Lyon in 2012.