By Daniella Flanagan
HOUSTON, TX– Here is a great #ICYMI, there was another testament to the power of Filipino ethnic identity and solidarity in the World Cup July 15, 2018 in Moscow!
This time a French Filipino is in the news! We should be proud that football player Alphonse Areola, one of France’s national pride ng France, is Pinoy even if he did not wave the Philippine flag on the champions podium in Russia.
Filipino-French Alphonse Areola is the 3rd string goalkeeper for the French Soccer Team! He is now the first Filipino FIFA world champion, Champion du Monde for the Equipe de France!!
Alphonse is a World Cup winner despite never having won a single cap in France to date! He is chided for this on social media. It is a unique record of sorts – to be the first player in France’s history to be a World Champion without playing a single minute with Les Bleus, as the French National Team is nicknamed.
The French National Men’s Football team spent a month battling their way to the top and defeated Croatia 4-2 in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Final to win. This was France’s second time to hoist the World Cup Trophy, 20 years after their first and only other win.
More About Alphonse
The 25 year-old Alphonse was born to Filipino immigrant parents in France. He started playing football because of the access his parents’ wealthy employers provided him.
Alphonse has been a footballer since 2008. He played in the youth teams from 2008 to 2014. In 2015, he was called up to play in the seniors. While still in the youth league he made some major moves. More about that a little later.
Alphonse is married. His wife Marrion is also half-pinoy; she loves to cook adobo and sinigang for him. Marrion Areola is a former model. Her mother is Filipina and her dad is Lebanese.
Alphonse even has a “Mabuhay ang Pilipinas” tattoo on his left arm as a tribute!
Trevor Noah and other European comedians acknowledge the African roots of many of the French Team players, 13 of the 23 players is of African descent, most of them like Pogba (Guinea) and Mbappe (Cameroon) are from former French colonies, territories, and protectorates.
Alphonse is 1 of 18 French players with an immigrant background. It is only fair to acknowledge the Filipino roots of one of the players, too! Mabuhay Alphonse!
Alphonse and Marrion were privileged to recently meet the cast of the hit TV show “Ang Probinsyano” per a picture on his Instagram account. He posed with Coco Martin, Yassi Pressman, Lito Lapid, John Prats, and other stars from the show. (Instagram: @areolaofficiel)
His official Twitter is @AreolaOfficiel and here is the link to the Twitter account is https://twitter.com/AreolaOfficiel
What’s Next for Alphonse?
Alphonse will still play for club team Paris Saint-Germain. He had some remarkable plays with the team such as the saved spot-kicks in 2013 in FIFA U-20 in a penalty shoot out. That lead to France’s first ever title in that tournament!
Rumor has it on the FIFA world that Maurizio Sarri’s Chelsea is interested in the Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) goalkeeper. It is said that the PSG is internally split over what to about this dashing French Filipino’s international future. Rumor has it that Alphonse wants to sign a contract extension with PSG; and then go out on loan to secure a spot. Il privilegie la Premier League!
Al-Khelaifi wants to keep Alphonse whereas Antero Henrique is open to selling him in the transfer market.
If Thibault #Courtois leaves his spot for Real Madrid, the football world is alignment in believing that Alphonse should replace him for #ChelseaFC. Alphonse appears to be in the running with Gianluigi Donnarumma as ChelseaFC’s top two choices.
The fact that Alphonse Areola won the FIFA World Cup and is still eligible to play for Philippines National Team (NT) is extraordinary. That’s the magic of FIFA rules.
Many in the football world feel that Alphonse would be the perfect player for Sarri’s system because he is fantastic on the ball and still has time to improve and become one of the world’s top goalkeepers! #PSG #CFC #ASRoma He kept more clean sheets than any other goalkeeper in Ligue 1 last season, a total of 17 sheets.
You can check player stats at whoscored.com/Players/92516/Show/Alphonse-Areola
Vive Les Philippines! Congratulations to Alphonse and the rest of the Les Bleus! We wish you continued success wherever your journey takes you.