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Philippe Albert

Personal information
Full namePhilippe Julien Albert
Date of birth10 August 1967(age 49)
Place of birthBouillon, Belgium
Height1.90 m
Playing positionDefender

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Philippe Julien Albert (born 10 August 1967 in Bouillon) is a former Belgian football defender. He played with R. Charleroi S.C., KV Mechelen, R.S.C. Anderlecht and Newcastle United in England. Albert made 41 appearances for the Belgium national football team, and he played in the 1994 World Cup.

He started his career with Charleroi before moving to Mechelen where his performances won him Belgian Golden Shoe and a move to Anderlecht. While playing at Anderlecht he won the Belgian League twice and helped his national side qualify for the World Cup.

He came to world wide attention at the 1994 World Cup, where he played in four of Belgium's matches, scoring in his first game against Netherlands and in the second round match against Germany, which Belgium lost 3 2. After his good performances he was purchased by Kevin Keegan's Newcastle United for £2.6m. He was an immediate success in the side as he helped them win their first six league games of the 1994 95 season, but he missed the later stages of the season through injury and Newcastle finished sixth not even enough for a UEFA Cup place.

He was issued with the number 27 shirt with Newcastle and coincidentally, signed for the club on his 27th birthday.

He claims he had a chance to move to Juventus or Fiorentina the year before but turned it down because he did not like the a hot climate or having to play on Sundays. Having been a fan of Liverpool and Kevin Keegan in his youth he choose to move to an attacking Newcastle team that had achieved 3rd in the Premier League the year before.

He was a cult hero at Newcastle United due to his less-than-defensive tendencies in "the Entertainers" central defence, would often make runs forward and be found roaming on the edge of the box. His most famous moment arguably being when he scored an audacious chip over Peter Schmeichel in a 5 0 win over Manchester United, whose manager Alex Ferguson had been interested in signing him a year earlier.

Fans at Newcastle created a terrace chant for the player, singing "Phillipe,Phillipe Albert, everyone knows his name" to the words of the song used in the soundtrack to the 1970s children's TV series The Adventures of Rupert Bear.

Injuries towards the end of the decade limited his first team chances, and he spent 13 games on loan to Fulham (now managed by former Newcastle boss Kevin Keegan) and scored twice during the 1998 99 season, when they were promoted from Division Two as champions.

On leaving Newcastle in 1999, Albert returned to Belghis first club Charleroi for £600,000, spending one season before retiring from football.

He is now working as a pundit for Belgian TV.

Albert also runs a successful fruit and vegetable company in Belgium.

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