29 March 2012

Fil-Spanish Azkals to reunite for Suzuki Cup

MANILA, Philippines - Fil-Spanish players Angel and Juani Guirado and Carli de Murga said yesterday they will suit up with the Azkals if called to action by coach Michael Weiss in the Suzuki Cup, also known as the Asean Football Championships, on Nov. 24-Dec. 22 in Malaysia and Thailand.

The Philippines has qualified for the eight-team Suzuki Cup finals with Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. If FIFA suspends Indonesia on a charge of government interference in sporting affairs, three teams from the October qualifiers in Myanmar will advance to the tournament proper to join the five seeds.

The Guirado brothers are set to wed their Spanish fiancées this year while De Murga has no immediate plan of settling down although his Spanish girlfriend Maria Flores, a journalist, arrives today to spend a month here. Juani, 32, marries his girlfriend Andrea Marijuan in Burgos on June 16. Angel, 27, ties the knot with Rocio Carvajal, who recently visited him in Manila for two weeks, in Malaga in July.

The Fil-Spanish booters, who call themselves The Three Musketeers, are also teammates on the Global squad in the UFL. They battle Kaya F. C. on Saturday in Juani’s farewell match. The older Guirado returns to Spain on Monday.

“I’ve been away for about two months now and I must go back to my job doing quality control as inspector of materials with Pepsi Cola in Spain,” said Juani who scored the marginal goal in the Azkals’ 4-3 win over Palestine to bag the bronze at the recent AFC Challenge Cup in Nepal. “I will never forget playing for the Philippines and I want to come back. I’ve won medals and trophies in the Spanish league but the bronze with the Azkals is special and historic for the country. I am proud to play for the Philippine national team and one day, when I have children, I will tell them how lucky I was to play for the Philippines. It is a big honor for me. Playing national teams from Palestine, India, North Korea, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan is a new experience and I’m grateful for the opportunity.”

When Juani returns to Spain, he will reenlist with his Division III club and resume his work at Pepsi Cola. “Jobs are difficult to find in Europe,” he said. “Life is hard. Andrea and I plan to come to the Philippines in October and we’d like to just take a vacation for two weeks. I haven’t seen how beautiful the country is and I couldn’t even go to visit my grandfather in Isabela. I will stay on until the end of the Suzuki Cup. Will I consider living in the Philippines? You can never tell. It will depend on opportunities. I have cousins, uncles and aunts in the Philippines but my parents are in Malaga.”

Angel said he is excited to continue playing with the Azkals. “We’ve improved so much since I first joined,” he said. “That’s because we’ve become more familiar with each other, gaining more experience as a team. We face a very complicated situation because so many players come from different countries and we get together only for a few practices before playing a tournament. But little by little, we’re improving. Coach Michael has done a very good job of getting us to play as a team.”

De Murga, 23, said his older brother Antonio, 25, is recovering from two knee football-related injuries and plans to try out with the Azkals. “Playing for the Philippine team is an honor because it is my mother’s country,” he said. “I really miss Spain. That’s why I spend all my money eating in a Spanish restaurant (Barcinos). When the UFL ends, I’ll go back to Cadiz. I hope to return to play with the Azkals in October or maybe come earlier.”



  1. So Juani is gonna go back to Racing Lermeno... what was the terms of him playing for Global FC? A loan? Or he officially left Lermeno and played for Global and the national team then he'll re-sign for Lermeno??

    Because of no information on these deals that see the foreign based players playing locally, it makes things look dubious.... dubious in the way Global was able to get Jeffrey Christiaens to play for them for one match back in December even though he was still on the books of his club in Belgium, Torhout.

  2. Yes, I agree , there is something suspicious about these Global FC players. Could also add Rob Gier and new signing Patrick Reichelt...

  3. Jonny, Check our the roster of Global in FA Website. Gier and Reichett are already in the line up.

    1. Just because they're listed on the ufl website doesn't mean they actually play for the team! Take Gier for example... he's on VACATION right now.... right in the middle of the season!! Do you think that constitutes as actually playing for Global FC?!?! lol!!

      Same thing happened for Christiaens! He was listed as a Global FC player in October but only played one game (albeit in what seems to be dubious circumstances) for them in December before returning to Belgium!

  4. Reichelt is actually playing right now against Kaya.

    And for all we know, the clubs have made the loans/transfers official and media didnt catch up on it. But if the UFL would like to be looked upon as a professional league and so forth, then they should follow the rules set by FIFA. Stallions did the right thing. As for Global, it might seem that they do whatever they want because of Palami.

  5. Two other Fil-Spanish players who may be called: Javier Patiño Lachica, Córdoba C.F. striker, and Ernesto Amantegui Phumipha, Real Sporting de Gijón B left back.