For the Philippine Azkals, it's all about pride
ABS-CBN Sports on Aug 30, 2015 11:45 AM
(Photo: Josh Albelda/ABS-CBN Sports)
In a few days, the Philippine Azkals head back onto the pitch as a team, after a couple of months off.
And while they'll be doing so without former captain Rob Gier and mainstay Simone Rota, the Philippine national team will still be boasting a very talented lineup, led by leading scorer and new captain Phil Younghusband as well as FIFA World Cup qualifiers breakout star Misagh Bahadoran.
These Azkals have behind them the momentum of an impressive 2-0 qualifiers start, but what will be pushing them even more is the pride of being able to represent the Philippines
One of the squads' highly-touted new recruits Iain Ramsay, immediately showed why there was a lot of buzz around him when he made his presence felt against Yemen.
The Fil-Australian Ramsay says that he's blessed to be able to represent the country and "do what he loves to do" by playing for the national team.
"..my mother being Filipino and I have a lot of Filipino family back in Sydney, I know it means a lot to them." Ramsay said in appearance on DZMM's "Fastbreak"
Fil-Italian Dennis Villanueva has been playing since he was seven years old, back in Italy. Having Pinoy blood in him, he decided to try playing football in his father's homeland, and now the 23-year old suits up for the Azkals.
Another of the Azkals current mainstays, Daisuke Sato, found out about the national team thanks to a cousin in Davao. After getting his parents' blessing, the 20-year old Fil-Japanese forward made his national team debut back in March of 2014, and has been with the team since.
"Life is more fun in the Philippines", says Fil-Spanish defender Juani Guirado. Guirado, whose Pinoy roots can be traced back to Isabela, has been with the Azkals since 2012.
Whatever their reasons may be for suting up for the national team, and wherever they may come from, their Pinoy blood and pride for the country has brought these booters together and have united them towards a single goal: to put the Philippines on the map in terms of football.
The Azkals' journey to 2018 has been full of highs so far, but there's still more ground to cover. Let our support for these boys remind them why they are proud to wear our country's colors every time they step onto the field.
H/T: ABS-CBN News