20 December 2010

PH team finds a goal

NOBODY expected the Philippine national men’s football team to reach the semifinals in the Asean Football Federation Suzuki Cup, but somehow the Azkals did, and proved all the doubters that the future of Philippine football is bright.

Cebu Football Association president Richard Montayre lauded the Azkals for their amazing run that was unforeseen by many, despite the fact that the squad is out of title contention after being beaten by Indonesia.

“Actually, their performance was unexpected. Basically, it was a good performance, but they could have done more with the support of everybody; one the support of PFF (Philippine Football Federation)and two, the support of the public,” Montayre told Sun.Star Cebu in an interview yesterday.

The Philippines lost to Indonesia, 1-0, in both matches of the semifinal round.

Plenty of room

In spite of the Philippines being eliminated in the semifinal round, Montayre believes that the Azkals could improve with more support from the government and the PFF aside from just team manager Dan Palami, who is financing the team.

“The team still has a lot of room for improvement,” said Montayre. “A lot of people now know that the Philippines is capable of winning against football giants.”


Montayre believes that for the Philippine football to flourish in international competitions, the country should focus on building up the youth in grassroots programs and not only depend on picking up Filipino players outside the country.

“We should start with what we have in the youth and look for talents here,” said Montayre.

He thinks that the PFF should focus on improving the young homegrown talents and also hold a national tournament for men and youth divisions, which hasn’t been done for years since Jose Mari Martinez came into power as PFF president.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on December 21, 2010.


  1. This guy is a genius.
    I cant wait to watch a team of pure bloodied filipinos in the field. It would be like Pacman beating up giant opponets. Theres a lot of pure pinoy footballers in there who Im sure can also play well like the import azkal players. And we need guys who would be committed in playing for the Philippines in the long run.

    This is I say a genius article, (PH TEAM FINDS A GOAL)
    2 Thumbs up to the author>>>>>>>>>>

  2. The key here is to develop the domestic LBC Cup so that it gives the incentive to footballers to choose football as a career. There are so many talented football players in the Philippines but many have opted to go into the corporate world because football simply does not pay the bills.

    Also, if you develop the pro league here, it will raise the overall level of play and our local talent will have a chance to develop. The better talent will be signed by clubs abroad (even guys like ian araneta and ally bor can play in foreign leagues as imports). Pro leagues will also raise the awareness and interest in the sport.

    Baby steps, but take real steps to make football great here :)

    Go azkals!

  3. Thats unfortunately true. Ive known some good footballers who really love the sport but end up having a more stable job and income. The sport needs to provide better opportunities to the players and financial support to those who wants to be a pro footballer.

  4. I guess pinoy fans would rather go back to being pure pinoy whipping boys than actually winning some games. That will not attract players to the sport.

  5. whats fuzz about for a "true blooded" filipino football team? these are just a few examples of players who were of mixed race and born in other countries who have represented their "adopted" coutries in international level.

    Sergio Batista (ITA)
    Jose Luis Brown (UK)
    Gustavo Dezzotti (ITA)
    Claudio Caniggia (ITA)
    Jose Cuciuffo (ITA)
    Ricardo Giusti (ITA)
    Rene Houseman (UK)
    Oscar Ruggeri (ITA)
    Pedro Troglio (ITA)


    Robert Golemac (CRO)
    Tomislav Kocijan (CRO)
    Ivica Vastic (CRO)
    Zeljko Vukovic (CRO)


    Luis Oliveira (BRA)
    Branko Strupar (CRO)
    Gordan Vidovic (BOS)
    Josip Weber (CRO)

    Alex Czerniatinsky (POL)
    Enzo Scifo (ITA)

    Emile Mpenza (CON)
    Mbo Mpenza (CON)


    Zoran Jankovic (YUG)
    Predrag Pazin (YUG)
    Zlatomir Zagorcic (YUG)


    Branko Segota (CRO)
    Tomasz Radzinski (POL)

    Ante Jazic (CRO)
    Igor Vrablic (SLK)


    Ivo Basay (CRO)


    Sinisa Gogic (YUG)
    Milenko Spoljaric (YUG)


    Eduardo Da Silva (BRA)


    Miklos Molnar (HUN)
    Keneth Perez (SPA)


    Daniel Batista (see. Verde)


    John Barnes (JAM)
    John Lukic (YUG)
    Steve Ogrizovic (YUG)


    Youri Djorkaeff (ARM)
    Alain Boghossian (ARM)
    Raymond Kopa (POL)
    Robert Pires (POR)
    Michel Platini (ITA)
    David Trezeguet (ARG)
    Jocelyn Angloma (GUAD)
    Ibrahim Ba (SEN)
    Marcel Desailly (ghana)
    Christian Karembeu (N. CAL)
    Thierry Henry (GUAD)
    Bernard Lama (GUY)
    Lilian Thuram (GUAD)
    Patrick Vieira (SEN)
    Zinedine Zidane (ALG)


    Gerald Asamoah (GHA)
    Fredi Bobic (SLO)
    Sean Dundee (SAF)
    Miroslav Klose (POL)
    Oliver Neuville (SWI)
    Lukas Podolski (POL)
    Paulo Rink (BRA)
    Ernst Wilimowski (POL)
    Pierre Littbarski (POL)
    Jens Nowotny (CSSR)
    Mehmet Scholl (TUR)
    Darius Wosz (POL)


    Tscheu La Ling (CHI)
    Simon Tahamata (MOL)
    Philip Cocu (FRA)
    Winston Bogarde (SUR)
    Edgar Davids (SUR)
    Ruud Gullit (SUR)
    Jimmy Hasselbaink (SUR)
    Patrick Kluivert (SUR)
    Michael Reiziger (SUR)
    Frank Rijkaard (SUR)
    Clarence Seedorf (SUR)
    Pierre van Hooijdonk (SUR)
    Aaron Winter (SUR)


    Attilio De Maria (ARG)
    Enrique Guaita (ARG)
    Humberto Maschio (ARG)
    Luis Monti (ARG)
    Raimundo Orsi (ARG)
    Omar Sivori (ARG)


    Wagner Lopes (BRA)
    Rui Ramos (BRA)
    Alex dos Santos (BRA)


    Gabriel Caballero (ARG)


    John Carew (GAMB)
    Azar Karadas (TUR)


    Emanuel Olisadebe (NIG)


    Deco Sousa (BRA)
    Eusebio Silva (MOZ)
    Mario Coluna (MOZ)
    Rui Jordao (ANG)
    Dimas Marques (JAR)
    Paulo Madeira (ANG)
    Abel Xavier (MOZ)

    Rep. Ireland

    Tony Cascarino (ITA)


    Dominic Matteo (ITA)


    Thomas Christiansen (DEN)
    Donato Silva (BRA)
    Alfredo Di Stefano (ARG)
    Ladislav Kubala (HUN)
    Juan Antonio Pizzi (ARG)
    Ferenc Puskas (HUN)
    Diego Tristan (ARG)


    Martin Dahlin (GHAN)
    Zlatan Ibrahimovic (BOS)
    Henrik Larsson (CVER)
    Teddy Lucic (CRO)
    Yksel Osmanovski (MAC)
    Stefan Selakovic (YUG)


    Nestor Subiat (ARG)
    Johan Vonlanthen (COL)
    Hakan Yakin (TUR)
    Murat Yakin (TUR)
    Ricardo Cabanas (SPA)
    Kubilay Turkylmaz (TUR)


    Ladislao Mazurkiewicz (POL)
    Fabian O'Neill (EIR)


    Ante Razov (CRO)
    Hugo Perez (SALV)
    Preki Radosavljevic (YUG)
    Roy Wegerle (S. AFR)

  6. Whoaw! That's a very long list. Well I don't care if our team is composed of part Filipinos. No matter what you do, they will always be Filipino and they chose to represent the Philippines. Having a bunch of these guys is beneficial for us because they're quick fix. They're making our team competitive in an instant. But on the other hand, PFF should step up developing grassroots all over the country and our domestic league so that in 5-10 years we will be finally self sufficient in providing competitive locals for the national team. Foreign based Filipinos and PFF developing the status of local football must complement to achieve this.

  7. Of course it is just a partial list. Owen Hargreaves plays for England and fellow Canadian Jonathan De Guzman has played for Holland but not in an official international match. He is still eligible to play for the Azkals but I guess he isn't pure pinoy enough for some people.
    Portugal's most famous player Eusebio was born in Africa. Deco is from Brazil.
    There are other players in Europe and North America, who have two Filipino parents, who can play football if that is so important. It isn't unusual to go to a party in North America and see teenagers who are much taller than their parents or uncles. I see girls who are taller than their uncles so it isn't just part Filpinos who are bigger than our Asean neighbors.
    Funds have to be raised to develop the grassroots. Don't think that the FIFA money will be enough because it would only work out to a few pesos per young player. People have to accept that it is important that their children play the world's game and spend their time and money to get them on a team. Don't count on the PFF to do it. Work in your own community to get a club going. Take a coaching or referee's course. If everybody just waits for the FIFA money to trickle down from the PFF nothing will ever happen.

  8. Its easier said than done but it is the most possible way to do it. For this moment, I think the media and the government should share every help that they can to provide some live football coverage in t.v. to raise the peoples awareness and the nature of the sport because almost three-fourths of the filipinos doesnt get the idea of how football works. No one wasnt interested of the idea or the importance of a single goal. The people were fond of scoring hundreds in basketball. I think just watching live football matches from famous european clubs will build a momentum and increase the peoples desire to watch the sport. Because at this moment, I didnt mean all but most of the barangay leaders were keen on promoting basketball leagues. So hopefully we could also have football matches domestically and that we can watch live football matches from CHANNELS 3 and 7 because this Channels receive millions of viewers.

    Right now the media and the govt werent sharing the same goals. Look at what happen to the hostage situation which resulted to the killings of tourists from hongkong, We had seen it live from abroad but the media didnt even ask the permission of the Government officials. We had seen everything for hours and thats very unfortunate because many of the foreigners who desires to go to the country were so much disappointed. I hope the media and the govt will work together and not isolate themselves. Filipinos loves to watch t.v and live football coverage is very helpful.

  9. i don't get the point of some people here, import??? we don't have import in the AZKALS roster. technically/biologically/patriotically these half-breed lads are still filipinos!!! & admittedly we cannot deprive them to be part of the team for they are still filipinos & they are very qualified & deserving of their slot. bottom-line is, correct, develop the grassroots! which will entail quite some time for its fruits to be reap. stop dreaming of the world cup 2014 or even 2018, if we are again having this mentality of pure pinoys! good intention, but bad idea!!! opportunities/exposure,unfortunately, Philippines is a basketball-crazy country. don't you even thought that we owe football popularity to these half-bred lads?! think again pips!!! if you're dreaming of pure pinoy AZKALS, our locals must strive to be at par with this fil-foreign. remember they are not naturalized citizens! don't get me wrong, m not in favor of thee half-breeds! Mr. PALAMI is definitely right, they have short-medium & long range plans. having a pure pinoy azkal team is not impossible but definitely, it is included in the long range plan!!! for now, lets be happy with what our current AZKALS achieved. lets help philippine football, even in our own little ways. stop crab mentality!!!