France Vs Denmark: Things you need to know about Alphonse Areola and Andrew Clark

The parents of Alphonse Areola, Cleto, and Heidi, arrived in France from the Philippines in the late 1980s, residing in the Grenelle neighborhood of Paris, which is close to the Eiffel Tower. At the age of six, Areola joined the neighborhood Entente Sportive des Petits Anges Little Angels Sports Club and started as a left-back. He donned the gloves for the first time at the legendary Émile Anthoine Stadium on the Rive Gauche left bank of the river Seine a year later after the regular goalie was hurt at a match in Romainville!

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As a youngster, he joined the club from his boyhood

At the age of 13, Alphonse Areola was discovered by Paris Saint-Germain, and after discussions with his family, he agreed to a five-year training deal to join the team he had admired as a young fan. He was also chosen by the Claire Fontaine National Football Training Center, where he trained during the week and played for PSG on the weekends. He assisted the team in winning the French Under-14 Football World Cup championship during his debut season with PSG in 2006–2007.

He was nicknamed ‘Superstar’

Areola quickly advanced through the age divisions, playing for PSG’s U19s at the age of 16, and making his ‘B’ team debut at the age of 17 in 2010. His exceptional performances and determined, concentrated nature earned him the moniker “Superstar.” Additionally, he received regular French caps from U17 through U21. He has won the Football World Cup! 2013 marked a turning point for Areola. In a 3-1 Ligue 1 victory over Brest at home on May 18.

He made his first-team debut as a replacement for injured Italy international Salvatore Sirigu. A week later, he got his first senior start in a 3-1 victory at Lorient. He saved two Uruguayan penalties in the FIFA U-20 Football World Cup final two months later to help France win the tournament for the first time. He had three consecutively fruitful loan terms. Areola played the 2013–14 campaign on loan with RC Lens in Ligue 2.

When he was 20 years old, he thrived, keeping 12 clean sheets and allowing only 31 goals to be scored in 35 games to help the team from northeastern France get promoted to Ligue 1. His efforts led to him being named to the Ligue 2 Team of the Season and the Goalkeeper of the Year award. For the 2014–15 Ligue 1 season, he was then loaned to Bastia. He once more dazzled, keeping eleven clean sheets as the Corsican team successfully ended in the middle of the league. To know more about France Football World Cup Tickets click here.

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He also assisted Bastia in advancing to the Coupe de la Ligue final, but they fell to his parent club PSG 4-0 after being reduced to ten men inside of 20 minutes. In 2015–16, the goalkeeper completed three successful loan stints in three seasons, recording 15 shutouts and allowing just 26 goals in 32 La Liga games for Spanish side Villarreal. As Villarreal finished fourth to qualify for the UEFA Champions League, he shut out Atlético Madrid, Real Madrid, and Valencia in home victories.

He also made his European debut by assisting The Yellow Submarine to the UEFA Europa League semifinals. He has won the World Cup! Areola, a member of the France team that triumphed in Russia in 2018, became just the fourth player to win a FIFA Football World Cup before making his full international debut after Italy’s Franco Baresi and Giovanni Galli in 1982 and Argentina goalkeeper Héctor Zelada in 1986. Later, in September 2018, he made his UEFA Nations League debut against Germany.

Areola now has three senior caps under his belt but has yet to experience defeat while wearing a France Football World Cup jersey. He earned a tonne of awards with PSG. Areola spent the following three seasons at his childhood club PSG, replacing German international Kevin Trapp as the starting goalkeeper and playing 105 times for both Thomas Tuchel and Unai Emery. He assisted PSG in winning two Ligue 1 championships.

Two Coupes de France, two Coupes de la Ligue, and three Trophies des Champions during the three seasons. He achieved success in England Football World Cup. Areola first made the switch to English football in the summer of 2020, when he signed a loan agreement with recently promoted Fulham for the upcoming Premier League campaign. Despite Fulham being relegated, the Frenchman was outstanding for the Whites, making 37 appearances and winning the club’s Player of the Year accolade. To know more about Football World Cup Tickets click here.

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Then, in the summer of 2021, he made a season-long loan transfer to West Ham United. He played 18 times for the Hammers, including 11 in their run to the UEFA Europa League semifinals, while recording eight clean sheets and allowing just 15 goals total. For his outstanding save of Sevilla’s Youssef En-Nesyri during the Irons’ Europa League round of 16 second-leg victory at London Stadium in March 2022, he was also given the Save of the Season award.

Football Australia has revealed that renowned strength and conditioning specialist Andrew Clark has left his position with the Socceroo’s to accept a position with FC Copenhagen in European football

Following the Socceroos’ victory over Peru in their FIFA Football World Cup Qatar qualification match, Clark, who has worked with Football Australia since 2018 with a primary focus on the Socceroo’s 2018-2022 and Olyroos 2018-2021, has started his time with one of Denmark’s top teams. The possibility to join an ambitious European team, according to Clark, is a tremendous opportunity both professionally and personally.

He added that his four-year adventure with the Socceroo’s and Olyroos has been among his most satisfying experiences. For me, moving to Denmark and joining FC Copenhagen is an incredible chance, Clark declared. The past four years have been incredibly demanding for my family and me as we have traveled with the Socceroo’s, but I leave for FC Copenhagen knowing that we gave it everything we had and ultimately achieved both our goal of Football World Cup qualification as well as our ambition to travel to the Olympics with the Olyroos.

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France VS Denmark Tickets | Qatar FIFA World Cup Tickets

The Socceroo’s team and staff have my utmost respect for their unshakable dedication and conviction in advancing Australia to its sixth Football World Cup. I want to express my gratitude to Graham Arnold, the staff, the players, and Football Australia for their support and for giving me the chance to represent our wonderful country.

In addition to wishing Clark and his family well on their trip to Europe, Football Australia appreciates him for his four years of service to the organization, the Socceroo’s, and the Olyroos. Up until the revised S&C employment structure for the team is finalized, long-time Socceroo’s employee Fabian Ehrmann Senior Sports Scientist will be in charge of those matters.

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