Juani Guirado announces retirement from the Azkals
ABS-CBN Sports on Mar 28, 2016 01:53 PM
ďToday, I can say more than ever, I am proud to be Filipino. Laban Pilipinas!Ē
Another key player bids goodbye to the Philippine men’s national football team, as Juani Guirado announced that he will be retiring from the Azkals after their final World Cup/Asian Cup Qualifier Group Stage match against North Korea on Tuesday, March 29.
Guirado made the announcement Monday morning at the Azkals-North Korea press conference to the shock of those in attendance.
“I want to take this moment to announce; tomorrow will be my last game in National Team. I made this hard decision a few weeks ago because I feel myself still young, but my body is not the same anymore for the games in the national team,” Guirado said.
The 36-year old Fil-Spanish defender began his stint with the Philippine National Team back in 2012 and has since been a key cog for the Azkals with over thirty international appearances. He also served as team captain in the absence of Phil Younghusband against Uzbekistan, and will be doing the same against North Korea.
During the announcement, Guirado went on to thank Azkals manager Dan Palami and coaches Michael Weiss and Thomas Dooley for the opportunity and the trust, as well as the staff and all his Azkals teammates who he said has been like his family during his four year stint.
He also said that he believes that the future is bright for Filipino football, and closed by proclaiming his pride in being a Pinoy.
“Today, I can say more than ever, I am proud to be Filipino. Laban Pilipinas!”
Guirado becomes the fourth Azkal in the last twelve months to hang his spikes, joining former skipper Rob Gier and most recently, Jerry Lucena and Paul Mulders.
Aside from being one of the Azkals’ top defenders, Guirado also skippers reigning UFL Champions and 2016 AFC Cup participants Ceres-La Salle FC.
For all your contributions to the Philippine Azkals and to Filipino football, maraming salamat, Juani!