Mignolet playing for Liverpool in 2013
|Full name||Simon Luc
|Date of birth||6 March 1988|
|Place of birth||Sint-Truiden, Belgium|
|Height||1.93 m (6 ft 4 in)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 19 October 2014.
† Appearances (Goals).
Simon Luc Hildebert Mignolet (Dutch pronunciation: [simɔn miɲɔlɛ]; born 6 March 1988) is a Belgian professional footballer who plays for English club Liverpool and the Belgium national team as a goalkeeper.
Mignolet started his career with Belgian Second Division side Sint-Truiden in 2004, and spent six years with the club, making 100 senior league appearances. He moved to Premier League side Sunderland in June 2010 for £2 million, spending three years with them and making 90 appearances, before moving to Liverpool in June 2013 for £9 million.
Mignolet has also represented the Belgian national football team at every level from the Under 16s upwards. He made his full international debut in 2011, and has since gone on to make fourteen further appearances for his national side.
Mignolet was born in Sint-Truiden, Belgium. He first joined his local football team, Belgian Second Division side Sint-Truiden, in 2004, eventually rising through their youth system to become their first-choice goalkeeper in 2006 at the age of just 18. In 2009 he made 29 appearances and scored a penalty in the league, as he helped Sint-Truiden to win the Belgian Second Division, and was named Belgian Goalkeeper of the Year the following year after he helped Sint-Truiden to avoid relegation.
After being invited for a training ground tour, Mignolet signed a five-year contract at Premier League club Sunderland on 17 June 2010 in a deal worth £2m. It was later confirmed by Sint-Truiden that Sunderland had beaten PSV Eindhoven, FC Twente and Udinese to securing Mignolet's signature.
Mignolet made his Sunderland debut in a 2–2 draw against Birmingham City on 15 August 2010, and was named man of the match for his performance. In the next home game, a 1–0 victory against Manchester City, Mignolet kept his first clean sheet for Sunderland, following an excellent reaction save to deny Emmanuel Adebayor a goal. Mignolet put in another fine performance against Arsenal, as Sunderland drew 1–1 after Darren Bent equalised in the 95th minute. Craig Gordon would replace Mignolet in goal several weeks later however, and remained first choice thereafter. Mignolet did not feature again until 8 January 2011, when Sunderland suffered a loss at home to Notts County in the third round of the FA Cup. Mignolet would become first choice keeper again after a knee injury to Gordon in February, and earned a string of rave reviews for his performances. Following the draw, manager Steve Bruce hailed the young keeper's fine start to life in English football. Mignolet cemented his position as first choice keeper the following season, being preferred to new signing Keiren Westwood in goal. On 29 October 2011, Mignolet was injured during a 2–2 draw with Aston Villa, suffering a broken nose following a collision with Emile Heskey.
Mignolet played every single game of the following season, keeping a large number of clean sheets and producing several man of the match performances. His form prompted Manchester City and England keeper Joe Hart to praise Mignolet in December 2012 as being the best goalkeeper in the league so far that season. On 21 June 2013, it was reported Liverpool had agreed a deal to sign the player for around £9m.
On 25 June 2013, Mignolet signed with Liverpool for a fee of £9m on a five-year deal. Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers hailed Mignolet as being "one of the top goalkeepers in the Premier League". On 13 July 2013, he made his unofficial debut for Liverpool in a 4–0 win in a pre-season friendly over Preston North End. On 17 August 2013, Mignolet made his official debut in the 1–0 home win against Stoke City at Anfield; in the 89th minute of the game, he saved a Jonathan Walters penalty, as well as Kenwyne Jones' follow up shot, to preserve Liverpool's lead and effectively win the game. He then recorded two more clean sheets against Aston Villa and Manchester United, with both matches ending 1-0 to Liverpool. Two weeks later, he conceded his first goals for Liverpool in the Premier League in a 2–2 draw with Swansea City, though he was still named man of the match for the fixture. Mignolet was also named man of the match in the 3–3 draw with Everton, making a total of 9 saves throughout the course of the game. Since his introduction to the squad, Mignolet has played in all matches of the 2013-2014 Premier League season.
Mignolet first represented the Belgian under-21 side in 2008, and went on to make ten appearances for the side. On 1 September 2010, he won his first call up to the Belgian senior squad after a good run of form for Sunderland. He made his full international debut in a 2–0 victory over Austria on 25 March 2011 in a UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying match. He remained in the starting line-up for each of the four remaining qualifying matches, in addition to playing in three friendly matches during the qualifying campaign. However, he was unable to help Belgium qualify for the Euro 2012 finals, as a 3–1 defeat against Germany saw them finish third in their qualifying group. Mignolet played in two further friendly internationals during the 2011–12 season, starting against Greece and England. Following the match against England, however, he did not play an international match for four months, with Thibaut Courtois being preferred instead. He returned to the starting lineup on 14 November 2012, in a 1–2 friendly loss over Romania. His next international match came over six months later, in a 4–2 friendly victory over the United States on 29 May 2013.
Mignolet served as back-up goalkeeper during the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification campaign, with Courtois playing every minute as Belgium qualified for its first major tournament since the 2002 World Cup.
- As of 19 October 2014
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- Free video: Brand new Kop Kids -Liverpoolfc.com Video
- Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet is all too aware of how a change in regime can galvanise Sunderland -The Daily Telegraph
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