The 2018 FIFA World Cup recently concluded and France emerged the champion after beating Croatia, 4-2, in an exciting final. It was Les Bleus’ second World Cup win after winning their first ever title 20 years ago when the tournament was held in French soil.
Although football (or soccer for some) is not very popular in the Philippines compared to basketball or boxing, the World Cup still gained the interest of many sports fans in the country. But did you know that a pureblooded Filipino is part of the French national team that won the recent World Cup?
25-year-old Alphonse Areola, whose parents are both Filipino, is the third-choice goalkeeper for France. He currently plays for Ligue 1 club Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), playing over 50 times for them. He’s been a part of the France youth squad since he was 15 years old and made his senior debut in 2015.
Areola was first invited to join the Philippine national football team or the Azkals in 2011. At that time, he was still focused on his duties for the national youth team and for PSG.
Being born to Filipino parents, Areola was eligible to play for the Azkals. However, he chose to play for France, the country of his birth.
Areola didn’t play a single minute in the recent World Cup as he’s backup to the excellent Hugo Lloris and second-choice keeper Steven Mandanda. Nevertheless, we can still be proud that a Filipino won a World Cup title which is the most coveted trophy in football.
Featured photo credit: Wikimedia