Areola delight at France debut

Paris Saint-Germain goalkeeper Alphonse Areola thoroughly enjoyed his France debut in the 0-0 draw with Germany on Thursday night.

Areola was hailed as the hero for the world champions as he made a number of important saves to secure a point in the UEFA Nations League match.

Speaking after the game, the 25-year-old told FFF TV: “It’s great! Throughout my young career, I’ve been preparing myself for this moment. I have been impatient to earn this first cap. I earned it against a very good side, a great football country. I think I did the job. But this is just the start.”

He added: “We knew that they would be looking to prove a point after their World Cup. We knew we had to be ready, and play well, especially after our performances at the World Cup. We are still on a high, but you are always motivated to play an international, so it was hard to get focused.”

Areola’s performance was well received and after the game, the goalkeeper was the subject of praise from his teammates.

“Everyone congratulated me at the whistle,” he beamed.

“It was special with Franck Raviot because he was my goalkeeping coach at Clairefontaine and he led me all the way to this first cap. It’s a great story. I gave him my jersey. I hope to make all my family and friends proud, and everyone else that helped me get here.

“You never forget your debut, but especially not when it goes like this.”