Philippe Julien Albert (born 10 August 1967) is a former Belgian footballer who played as a defender. He played for Charleroi, KV Mechelen and Anderlecht in his native Belgium, and for English clubs Newcastle United and Fulham. It was at Newcastle that he became known as an attack-minded centre-back for his forward runs from defence in the team dubbed as "the Entertainers".
Albert in 2014
|Full name||Philippe Julien Albert|
|Date of birth||10 August 1967|
|Place of birth||Bouillon, Belgium|
|Height||1.90 m (6 ft 3 in)|
|1998–1999||→ Fulham (loan)||13||(2)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
Albert started his career with Charleroi before moving to KV 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 1994 World Cup.
Albert's exploits at the World Cup earned him a £2.6 million transfer to Kevin Keegan's Newcastle United; he was issued the number 27 shirt, and completed the transfer on his 27th birthday. He later claimed he turned down moves to Italian clubs Juventus and Fiorentina the year before as he did not like the hot climate or having to play on Sundays, and moved to Newcastle as he was a fan of Keegan and the team he played for, Liverpool, in his youth. He was an immediate success in the side as he helped them win their first six league games of the 1994–95 season, but missed the later stages of the season through injury and Newcastle finished sixth – not even enough for a UEFA Cup place. He became 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 opposition box. His most famous moment arguably came when he scored an audacious chip from 20 yards over Peter Schmeichel in a 5–0 win over Manchester United on 20 October 1996.
Fans at Newcastle created a terrace chant for the player, singing "Phillipe, Phillipe Albert, everyone knows his name" to the words of the theme song of 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 third-tier club Fulham (managed at the time by his former Newcastle boss Keegan), scoring twice during the 1998–99 season as they were promoted from Division Two as champions.
On leaving Newcastle in 1999, Albert returned to Belgium, rejoining Charleroi for £600,000. He spent one season with the club before retiring from football.
Albert made 41 appearances for the Belgium national team, making his debut in 1987, but came to worldwide prominence at the 1994 FIFA World Cup. There he played in four of Belgium's matches, scoring against the Netherlands in his first game and against Germany in the second round match, which Belgium lost 3–2.
- KV Mechelen
- Moore, Glenn (29 October 1994). "Football: Albert able to call tune on the Tyne: A Belgian centre-back's attacking verve is delighting the Newcastle faithful. Glenn Moore reports". The Independent.
- Marshall, Paul (1 February 2009). "Au revoir, pet". ESPN Soccernet.
- Ridley, Ian (13 August 1995). "Club-by-club guide: The prospects, the players to watch, the arrivals and departures". The Independent. London.
- Gibbs, Thom (26 September 2012). "Manchester United v Newcastle United: Five memorable moments including Rooney, Cantona and Phillipe Albert". The Daily Telegraph.
- Edwards, Luke (6 December 2013). "Flashback: The day Newcastle United shocked Manchester United with 5-0 victory at St James' Park". The Daily Telegraph.
- Mamrud, Roberto (16 July 2009). "Belgium – Record International Players". RSSSF. Retrieved 23 October 2009.
- "Fan 'completes' 1996 Premier League sticker album". BBC News Online. 19 November 2013. Retrieved 22 November 2013.