Areola: 'All focused on the one goal'

Crowned world champion last month, Paris Saint-Germain goalkeeper Alphonse Areola returned to training to a hero's welcome and spoke to PSG TV about France's glorious month in Russia...

Alphonse, neither Kylian, Presnel, or you were in the France squad two years ago... now you are a World Cup winner!
"I joined the France squad after my loan spell at Villarreal in the 2015-16 season, and I was one of the reserves for Euro 2016. Things continued to evolve and I was called up to the squad for the World Cup. It's great! We achieved something incredible, unforgettable!"

In Russia, at what moment did you think to yourself, we can really win this World Cup?
"Honestly, I think it was the win over Argentina. It was a fantastic match, top quality, and we really had to give it everything out on the pitch to beat them."

It looked a very unified France squad, with a great atmosphere…
"In the warm-up to the tournament, Didier Deschamps gave everyone playing time during the friendly matches. Everyone stood up and gave their best, everyone was committed. During the tournament, you saw every time we scored, even the bench ran to celebrate on the pitch with the goal scorer. The referee's didn't like it too much, but we didn't care!"

It's not something you're likely to forget…
"It was magnificent. We really made the most of the situation, we all got along so well, we could have spent another month all together to keep on winning. We were all focused on the one goal. A lot of us had come through the national youth teams together, the older and younger players were all part of the group. It really was a great team!"

Did you stay in contact with other Paris players during the tournament?
"Yes, with Thomas Meunier in particular. We teased each other a fair bit, especially when we saw we were playing each other in the semi-finals. Unfortunately he couldn't play in the match because he was suspended, But that was better for us because he was in great form."