Areola with Paris Saint-Germain in 2019
|Full name||Alphonse Francis Areola|
|Date of birth||27 February 1993|
|Place of birth||Paris, France|
|Height||1.95 m (6 ft 5 in)|
(on loan from Paris Saint-Germain)
|2008–2009||→ INF Clairefontaine (loan)|
|2010–2013||Paris Saint-Germain II||57||(0)|
|2013–2014||→ Lens (loan)||35||(0)|
|2014–2015||→ Bastia (loan)||35||(0)|
|2015–2016||→ Villarreal (loan)||32||(0)|
|2019–2020||→ Real Madrid (loan)||4||(0)|
|2020–||→ Fulham (loan)||30||(0)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 18:21, 4 April 2021 (UTC)|
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 2 June 2019
Alphonse Francis Areola (French: [alfɔ̃s aʁeɔla]; born 27 February 1993) is a French professional footballer who plays as a goalkeeper for Premier League club Fulham, on loan from Paris Saint-Germain of Ligue 1, and the France national team.
An academy graduate of PSG, he spent the early parts of his career on loan, enjoying spells with Lens, Bastia and Villarreal. During his stint with the latter, Areola broke the club record for the longest period of play without conceding a goal, remaining unbeaten for a period of 620 minutes. He returned to PSG in 2016 where he has since made over 100 appearances for the club. In 2019, Areola joined Real Madrid on a season-long loan. In 2020, he joined Fulham on loan.
Areola began playing football at the age of six for Entente Sportive des Petits Anges and spent seven years at his local club before signing for Ligue 1 side Paris Saint-Germain. When Areola was 15, and upon the advice of coaches in Paris, he enrolled at the Clairefontaine football centre in order to further his development. He returned to PSG the following year and signed his first professional contract with the Parisians in July 2009, putting pen to paper on a three-year deal.
On 18 May 2013, having progressed through the club's academy, Areola made his senior debut for PSG, replacing first-choice goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu in the 48th minute of a 3–1 home win over Brest. PSG had been crowned Ligue 1 champions prior to the match and their opponents were already relegated. He made his first start for the club the following weekend in a 3–1 win over Lorient, playing 61 minutes in what was the final match of the season before being substituted for fourth-choice 'keeper Ronan Le Crom, who was sent off later in the match for a foul on Julien Quercia.
2013–16: Loans to Lens, Bastia and Villarreal
On 23 July 2013 he was loaned to Ligue 2 side RC Lens, who were managed by former PSG manager Antoine Kombouaré, for the 2013–14 Ligue 1 season. Areola immediately displaced Rudy Riou as the club's starting 'keeper and made 36 appearances for the campaign, included in which was his Coupe de France debut. He also helped the club to a second-place finish in the league, thereby earning promotion to Ligue 1. Areola's performances throughout the course of the season earned him the Ligue 2 Goalkeeper of the Year award and a spot in the Team of the Season. He was also awarded the Eurosport Revelation of the Year award, beating the likes of N'Golo Kante and Gaëtan Bussmann. A verbal agreement was in place for Areola to remain with Sang et Or on loan for the following season but the club's financial position raised concerns with the League's National Directorate of Management Control and ultimately put paid to the possibility of him returning.
Areola would get a chance in Ligue 1, however, as Claude Makélélé's Bastia stepped in to sign him on loan for the 2014–15 Ligue 1 campaign, with the deal being completed on 26 July 2014. Signed as the replacement for the retired Mickaël Landreau, he made his debut for the club on 9 August in a 3–3 draw with Marseille. Areola ultimately made 39 appearances across all competitions for the club, keeping 13 clean sheets as Bastia ended the Ligue 1 season in 12th place and as runners-up in the Coupe de la Ligue. The Final, which took place on 11 April, was contested between Bastia and Areola's parent club PSG, with the match ending 4–0 in favour of the Parisians.
On 17 June 2015, La Liga side Villarreal announced the signing of Areola on season-long loan as a replacement for regular 'keeper Sergio Asenjo who had suffered a long-term injury the season before. He made his debut for the club on the opening day of the season in a 1–1 draw with Real Betis. At Villarreal, Areola enhanced his burgeoning reputation by keeping 15 clean sheets in 37 matches and conceding only 26 goals as the club ended the season in fourth place in La Liga. His clean-sheet tally for the league season was bettered by only two goalkeepers, Jan Oblak of Atlético Madrid, and Claudio Bravo of Barcelona. Areola also broke the club record of 615 minutes of football played without conceding a goal which was previously held by Diego López, ultimately going 620 minutes unbeaten before conceding against Las Palmas. Outside of domestic football, the Frenchman featured in the Europa League for the first time in his career, making five appearances as El Submarino Amarillo reached the semi-finals where they lost out to eventual runners-up, Liverpool.
2016–2019: Return to PSG
Following his successful stint in Spain, Areola returned to PSG for the 2016–17 Ligue 1 season. He began the campaign as understudy to German keeper Kevin Trapp, who had signed the season before, and was in PSG's match-day squad for their 4–1 Trophée des Champions victory over Lyon. He made his first appearance following his return on 13 September in a 1–1 Champions League draw with Arsenal, in what was also his debut in the competition. Following the match against Arsenal, Areola established himself as PSG's first-choice goalkeeper and had kept four clean sheets in eight appearances by mid-October. However, he suffered a downturn in form soon after and ultimately relinquished his place to Trapp after a string of matches in December in which he conceded 10 goals from just 11 shots faced. In April the following year, he was an unused substitute as PSG beat Monaco 4–1 to claim a record fourth straight Coupe de la Ligue title but started in a 1–0 win over Angers which saw PSG lift the Coupe de France title the following month.
The following season, on 29 July 2017, Areola earned his second Trophée des Champions medal when he started in a 2–1 win over Monaco which saw PSG claim their fifth consecutive title. He continued the season as PSG's undisputed goalkeeper in the league and Europe, with Trapp favoured in cup competitions, and was a regular feature in the club's record-breaking progression through the group stages of the Champions League. With Areola in goal, PSG conceded just once in their opening five matches and scored 24 goals, the most ever by a club in the group stages of the competition. On 31 March 2018, in a repeat of the previous seasons's final, Areola was an unused substitute as PSG retained the Coupe de la Ligue title with a 3–0 win over Monaco. The following month, on 15 April, he started in goal as PSG again defeated Monaco, who were the reigning league champions, 7–1 to claim the Ligue 1 title. The club completed a domestic treble on 8 May when they defeated third division side Les Herbiers to lift the Coupe de France trophy for a record fourth consecutive season; though Areola was an unused substitute in the final.
Areola was relegated to a rotational role during the following season after the club signed veteran goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon from Juventus. He made his 100th PSG appearance on 21 April 2019 during a 3–1 win over Monaco, on the same day that the club secured its eighth league title.
2019–present: Loans to Real Madrid and Fulham
On 2 September 2019, Areola returned to Spain when he joined Real Madrid on a season-long loan as part of a deal that saw Keylor Navas move in the opposite direction to PSG. He made his debut for the club on 25 September, starting in a 2–0 league win over Osasuna. However, he was predominantly used as a back-up option to first-choice goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois for the remainder of the campaign and made just nine appearances across all competitions, including four appearances during the league season, as Real won the 2019–20 La Liga title.
Areola has played for France at all youth levels. He was also eligible to play for the Philippines national team due to his parents being both of Filipino heritage and in 2011 was personally invited by team manager Dan Palami to consider playing for the national team.
France national youth teams
Areola represented France at every youth level from U16 to U21 between 2008 and 2014. He was the hero for France in the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup Final. Having ended goalless after extra-time, the match went to a penalty shoot out where Areola saved spot-kicks from Uruguay's Emiliano Velázquez and Giorgian De Arrascaeta to lead his nation to their first ever triumph in the tournament. He had previously featured for France at the 2010 UEFA European Under-17 Championship and the 2012 UEFA European Under-19 Championship's, and subsequently at the 2015 UEFA European Under-21 Championship.
France senior national team
On 1 October 2015, Areola received his first call-up to the senior team by manager Didier Deschamps for friendlies against Armenia and Denmark as part of the French team's build-up to hosting UEFA Euro 2016. He failed to make the tournament squad, but would be called up on three occasions for friendlies and World Cup qualifiers in September through to November 2016, although he was forced to withdraw from the latter squad after spraining his ankle.
On 17 May 2018, he was named in Deschamps' 23-man squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. There he served as the third goalkeeper behind Hugo Lloris and Steve Mandanda as France went on to lift the title. In doing so, he became the first player since Argentina's Héctor Zelada in 1986 to lift the World Cup trophy despite being uncapped for his country at the time. Later that year, and due to a thigh injury sustained by Lloris, Areola was designated as France's starting goalkeeper for the nation's opening UEFA Nations League match against Germany on 6 September. He kept a clean sheet on his senior international debut and was named man of the match in the encounter which ended in a goalless draw.
- As of match played 19 March 2021
|Club||Season||League||National Cup||League Cup||Europe||Other||Total|
|Paris Saint-Germain||2012–13||Ligue 1||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||—||2||0|
|Lens (loan)||2013–14||Ligue 2||35||0||1||0||0||0||—||—||36||0|
|Bastia (loan)||2014–15||Ligue 1||35||0||1||0||3||0||—||—||39||0|
|Villarreal (loan)||2015–16||La Liga||32||0||0||0||—||5||0||—||37||0|
|Real Madrid (loan)||2019–20||La Liga||4||0||3||0||—||2||0||0||0||9||0|
|Fulham (loan)||2020–21||Premier League||29||0||0||0||1||0||—||—||30||0|
- Appearance in Trophée des Champions
- As of match played 2 June 2019
- Ligue 1: 2012–13, 2017–18, 2018–19,
- Coupe de France: 2016–17, 2017–18; runner-up: 2018–19
- Coupe de la Ligue: 2016–17, 2017–18
- Trophée des Champions: 2016, 2017, 2019
- UEFA European Under-19 Championship Team of the Tournament: 2012
- Ligue 2 Goalkeeper of the Year: 2013–14
- Ligue 2 Team of the Season: 2013–14
- Eurosport Revelation of the Year: 2014
- UEFA Champions League Breakthrough XI: 2016
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