Real Madrid's Alphonse Areola caught a cross one-handed against Osasuna

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There was a big opportunity for Alphonse Areola between the sticks on Wednesday night.

Leaving Paris Saint-Germain despite making 74 appearances over the last two seasons, it was always going to be brave for the Frenchman to join Real Madrid's stacked roster.

He only needs to ask Keylor Navas who, despite playing in three Champions League finals, was forced to move in the opposite direction after being confined to the bench.

The goalkeeper blockage in the way? None other than Thibaut Courtois.

Signing for Los Blancos on the back of being crowned the 2018 World Cup's best goalkeeper, it looked for all intents and purposes to be a shrewd, albeit slightly unnecessary, coup for Real.

Courtois vs Areola

However, Courtois has struggled to transport his form from Stamford Bridge to the Bernabeu and fans in the Spanish capital are starting to grow tired of their number one.

In the words of the Spanish press, Courtois might not make too many overt mistakes, but he hasn't saved a number of shots a world-class 'keeper would expect to.

And his clean sheet at Sevilla last weekend was the first time he went 90 minutes without conceding since a 3-0 win over Alaves... on February 3. 

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Areola's one-handed catch

So, it's not hard to imagine why Areola making his Real debut against Osasuna and immediately keeping a clean sheet was quite the blow to his shot-stopping colleague.

Admittedly, it was a reasonably quiet evening for the 26-year-old, but he did more than enough to catch the eyes of Real supporters with some of his unorthodox behaviour.

The Frenchman has proved his unique physicality before by kicking the crossbar prior to a France game and now, clearly, he has been inspired by a certain Odell Beckham Jr.

That's because Areola sensationally caught a cross using just one hand during the Osasuna game and has received wide-spread praise across social media. Check out the clip:

Was it necessary? Absolutely not, but that's why we love it.

Most of us have big enough hands to pick up a football from the ground, but not when you're flailing for a cross in front of the Bernabeu and wearing gloves that actually hamper a clawing motion.

Now, we're not saying that showboating is the way to show your superiority to Courtois, yet it's definitely the way to get fans making jokey contrasts on Twitter.

And if Areola can continue to take his opportunities in the Real first-team, then don't be surprised if Zinedine Zidane ditches his apparent loyalties to Courtois. 

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If not, supporters will start to think that the former Chelsea man is a squad 'untouchable' or has some sort of contract stipulation.

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