MANILA, Philippines—The Philippine Azkals’ defense is getting another upgrade.
Filipino-Spanish defender Alvaro Silva, a veteran of the Spanish second division, arrived in Manila early this week to work on his Filipino passport so he can play for the Azkals.
Standing 6-foot-2, Silva has been in the Azkals’ radar for quite some time with fellow Filipino-Spanish players Juani Guirado and Javier Patino aware of his lineage.
The Azkals management was able to get in touch with Silva, but it wasn’t until early this year when Silva, who traces his roots to Cavite and Iloilo, started to work on getting his papers to comply with requirements to get a Filipino passport.
As proof of his desire to have his papers fixed, Silva even spent for his trip to Manila.
“It’s a dream come true,” the soft-spoken Silva told the Inquirer. “I’m very happy to represent the Philippines.”
“He is definitely a big addition to the team because of his experience,” said Azkals manager Dan Palami. “We have a young and promising defender in Amani Aguinaldo and I think Alvaro’s presence will help him develop into an even better player.”
After getting his first professional contract with La Liga side Malaga, he flourished in the 2008-2009 season when he helped Xerez earn promotion to the Spanish top-flight.