July 12, 2011

Angel Guirado of Azkal defends teammates

YAHOO.PH - "It’s good to have Filipino-foreigners in the team so that football in the country will create noise,” said Filipino-Spanish Angel Guirado as he responded to criticisms on the Philippine national team for having more half-Filipino players.

Born to a Filipina mother and Spanish father, Guirado admitted to having hard time finding a place to play football during his visit in the Philippines five years ago. His older brother is a professional footballer in Spain.

With the growing popularity of the Philippine Azkals, the 26-year-old footballer said the national team could recruit more local players once the sport is established.

The 6’3’’ striker who formerly played for Spanish league Third Division club CD Ronda said he wanted to inspire the Filipino youth and is willing to do anything to help develop football in the Philippines.

"It is a dream come true," Guirado said describing how he felt playing for the national team. He has so far played five winning games and scored three goals for the Philippine Azkals.

Guirado is still keeping his options open with scouts from Indonesia, Japan, United Arab Emirates and China, according to Guirado’s manager Rafael Garcia.

Aside from playing football, the Fil-Spanish player is eyeing endorsement deals and other commercial projects following the footsteps of the most popular Azkal Phil Younghusband.

Guirado said he is not interested in entering the entertainment industry. His teen star niece Coleen Garcia is currently making waves in the local showbiz industry.

The 18-year-old actress who arrived during his uncle’s press conference said that they are “very close” despite the language barrier.

She said she is trying to teach her "Tito Angel" who has visited her in the set of Showtime how to speak Tagalog and English.

Guirado is now learning Filipino. His favorites include “kamusta ka,” “saan ka pupunta,” “maganda” and “salamat.”

He will visit first his grandfather in Isabela before going to Bahrain on July 14 to train with the Azkals for the team's two-game World Cup qualifying series on July 23 against Kuwait.

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