French diplomat thanks Pinoys for cheering victors

Published July 16, 2018, 4:28 PM

by AJ Siytangco

By Roy Mabasa

French Ambassador to the Philippines Nicolas Galey on Monday said the victory of France in the 2018 FIFA World Cup symbolizes not only the spirit and unity of the team but also the diversity of his nation as exemplified by athletes like French-Filipino goalkeeper Alphonse Areola.

France's Hugo Lloris lifts the trophy as they celebrate after winning the World Cup. (REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach / MANILA BULLETIN)
France’s Hugo Lloris lifts the trophy as they celebrate after winning the World Cup. (REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach / MANILA BULLETIN)

France, which came into the tournament as a favorite, won over Croatia with the score of 4 goals to 2 in a historic match held in Moscow on Sunday evening.

In the statement, the French envoy thanked the Filipinos who “fervently cheered alongside our compatriots” throughout the duration of the football competition watched by millions throughout the world.

“This triumph, which comes 20 years after winning the championship for the first time in 1998, symbolizes the spirit, unity, and also the diversity of the French nation, exemplified by athletes such as Alphonse Areola, a young French-Filipino football player who is currently a goalkeeper for Paris Saint-Germain FC,” Galey said in a statement.

Born to Filipino parents, Areola is France’ 3rd string goalkeeper and now holds the distinction of being the first Filipino FIFA World Cup champion.

The French victory in the World Cup became more memorable as it happened a day after the celebration of the French National Day last Saturday, July 14.

“We applaud the victory of the French National Football Team in the 2018 FIFA World Cup after an excellent match against Croatia, whose team played impressively as well,” Galey said.

“Today, we are reminded of the power of sports in bringing peoples and cultures together. We thank our Filipino friends who fervently cheered alongside our compatriots throughout the competition, and look forward to more occasions to share our passion for sports in the Philippines,” the top French diplomat in Manila said.