29 November 2013

Palami says record No. 133 world ranking proves Azkals heading in right direction

WHEN Dan Palami first took over the reign of the Philippine men’s football team in early 2010, he envisioned a minimum of five years before the group considered as minnow internationally can reach the top spot in the Southeast Asian rankings.
Only three years after and the Filipino booters are now the benchmark of Asean football.
The Azkals manager could not be any more proud.
“That was the goal (five years) I had set for myself,” Palami told Spin.ph on Friday over the phone from Cebu where he catered to his family who recently evacuated from native Tacloban after the province was ravaged by super-typhoon Yolanda.
“And to have achieved that before the five-year period gives me some pleasure and somehow allows me to think that we’ve been running the national team properly,” added the 43-year-old businessman, the CEO of APT Global Inc, a railway engineering company that handles the maintenance of LRT 1 and 2 in Manila.
The Azkals continued their rise to international relevance on Thursday when they jumped four spots to their best-ever Fifa (International Football Federation) ranking in history at 133rd in the world.
The Filipinos maintained their lead over fellow Southeast Asian teams Myanmar (140th), Thailand (142nd), Singapore (154th), Malaysia and Vietnam (158th), Indonesia (162nd), Laos (163rd), Cambodia (188th), Brunei (189th), and Timor Leste (189th).
On a larger scale, Palami, said the latest ranking, which takes into consideration the tournament results of the last few months and the last three years, is an affirmation of the hard work the team has put in.
“I think this rank serves as a confirmation of what we have been saying that the Philippines could really be one of the powerhouses in Southeast Asia and even Asia.
“But we cannot rest on being number one,” the Azkals boss was quick to add. “At the end of the day, being number one is not enough. We have to prove ourselves on the pitch. We have to play according to how we are ranked. And that’s what we’ll continue to do.”
To sustain their rise, Palami said he and the Philippine Football Federation are looking at a tournament in Saudi Arabia against “strong club teams and an MLS (Major League Soccer) side” for the Azkals in January.
The celebrated team has also confirmed its attendance in a four-nation invitational tournament in Pakistan in February.
Palami has been in and out of the Queen City of the South since Yolanda struck and left thousands of people dead and missing to coordinate evacuation and relief efforts.
He is back in Cebu also to celebrate his parents’ wedding anniversary and his father’s successful heart operation.



  1. Which countries is using filipino booters as bench mark??

    All other countries in SE asia are busy developing and bleeding their youth and here we are busy marketing and developing azkals to the extent of the under 23 team do not even get the go ahead to travel to myammar.

    But well this blind supporters will say he is making a good decsion..

    This is just a stupid article to satisfy palami sympathisers..

  2. Congratulations to the Azkals, Coach Weiss and Dan Palami. The Phlippines has indeed gone a long way since the historic win in Vietnam!

  3. We could really be one of the powerhouses in ASEAN if we win at least one major tournament like SUZUKI Cup and not base on friendly games.

  4. Anonymous30 November 2013 05:20 is right. Palami is more on publicity and hype on the senior teams but nothing has been done to our youth teams which are supposedly the successors of the Younghusbands , Caligdong and the rest of the senior azkals. Take a look at our U11 who was bankrolled by PAGCOR and went to UK last August which the PFF would dream to reach the 2019 FIFA U17 World Cup. Since they arrived back here they have not yet had any training camp for the boys and they only have 6 years remaining to prepare for the so called "PROJECT 2019" but many months had been passed and no activity or plans made by the bright minds of PFF. We are overly focused on the senior Azkals which are not really the product of our country.

  5. Like ive said in the past, Philippine football is all about the azkals and nothing more. And here comes the big boss saying that theyre in the right direction when they in fact didnt win a game, and they got lucky because other and better countries lost more points in the FIFA ranking. If climbing the rankings is a success, well so be it, but thats just pogi points and nothing more than that.

    We have nothing to show for when it comes to local leagues, grassroot programs and development of homegrown players. All we have is the azkals, and how many are homegrown on that team? Not many. We rely so much on the fil-foreigners that we would have big problems beating tiny football countries without them.

    The azkals is a joke, its like its not even a national team anymore. They even have a national azkals day or whatever. What a effin joke.

  6. Its a joke. Look at whats happening in the domestic league. Squat! Clubs do not have their own stadium, dont train young players. Its squat!