Alphonse Areola is officially the first Filipino to win a World Cup championship.
However, Filipinos have diverse sentiments on the achievement as Alphonse did not accomplish it carrying a Filipino flag but a French one.
Born to Filipino parents in Paris, Alphonse has already won two World Cup championships for France: the 2013 U-20 (Under 20 years old) World Cup, and Sunday’s 2018 World Cup championship.
Alphonse, one of France’s soccer national team’s three goalkeepers, posted a photo of him holding the World Cup trophy and he captioned it: “KEEP CALM! The World Cup is here! CHAMPION DU MONDE!”
Filipinos had mixed reactions to Alphonse’s post about his team’s win, officially France’s second World Cup title in history. The country won its first World Cup exactly 20 years ago in 1998 when the international football tournament was held in France.
On Facebook, some netizens reacted positively to Alphonse’s win:
Elizabeth Gaerlan-Davis said, “Congratulations!!!Because of you I began to watch football/ soccer. Congratulations. I told my husband that France will win because you’re in it. Representing Filipinos. Of course it’s a team effort and for those who are complaining they can’t do what you’re doing. Thanks for a great Sunday. Awesome! Cheers from Vegas, Nevada!
Sunshine Smith-Tioco wrote, “He is equally proud to represent both the Philippines (where his parents and family came from) and France (the country that nurtured his skills, gave him a break and believed in his talent). Stop with the crab mentality! #burn Congratulations, Alphonse!!!
Ramon Sr Areola, a Facebook user who shares the athlete’s surname, Congrats Alphonse and with the whole French Team. VIVE LA FRANCE!!! Daming bitter dito. Hindi nakakatulongyongmga negative comments ninyolaban kay Alphonse Areola.
Just be proud with him!!! Don’t speculate too much. Why not try to reach him or his parents to gather more infos.
Baka wala siyang dalang Phil Flag, simple as that. Huwag masyadong bigyan ng negatibo ang di niya pagwagayway ng ating bandila.
Kilala ko siya!!! At never niyang ipinagkail ang pure Filipino blood siya. At saka tuwing may interview siya ng media ay lagi niyang sinasabing Filipino siya. Very humble na batayan. Nababasa niya lahat na mga commento sa kanya kaya kung pwede ay Tulungan nalang natin siya sa pamamagitan ng pagbati sa kanya at huwag ng bigyan ng mga negatibo ang kakulangan niya. Atsaka di siya Pulitiko o artista na kailangang silipin ang mga munting pagkakamali niya.
Kung si Wesley So elite player ng Chess ngayon pero tuwing maglaro siya( not a team) ay hindi ang Pilipinas ang dinadala niya. Samantalang ang nagpalaki sa kanya ay Pilipinas?”
X Irene Azcueta asked, “Why can’t some of us be happy for this young man.. he is of Filipino heritage but his a french man as well… be proud of him because his not just representing himself but the entire Filipino culture/heritage. Just be happy. #positivevibes”
Mary Jane Hiller said, “AngDaming Bitter. Clearly you cannot please everybody. He is 2nd Goaler. A Filipino Race playing for FRANCE. So why should he bring Philippine flag Haller! Common sense lang naman di ba? Magalit kayo kung winagayway nya ang flag ng France but he didn’t so why complain? You guys are not being reasonable. Life must go on.”
Some netizens were not very pleased about Alphonse’s win:
One Facebook, Tim Uliman said, “Alphonse Areola some fans are mad at you because you are not proud of your Filipino heritage as a world cup champion you should’ve bring a little Philippine flag with you in the winners podium while having the champion trophy…and wave it if you are proud of it…they are furious on you…”
On Twitter, Moyyst said, “Filipino by blood. French by Birth. Birth place is thicker than Blood Alphonse?”
Some also commented on his participation in the World Cup. Thug Magnificent said, “Staying calm that’s all you did during this tournament I didn’t see you start a game.”