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Looking Back

December 13, 2011

I’ve always been a fan of club football as opposed to international football, but make no mistake – I do support the Azkals. I do want them to succeed. I do want them to make a name for themselves in the game. I do consider them brilliant at the game. Truth be told, however, I’m not really a fan of any Azkal in particular. Yes, I do respect Ian Araneta, Chieffy Caligdong, Phil and James Younghusband, and Aly Borromeo amongst others, but I really wouldn’t consider myself a die-hard fan of these said players. Rather, I consider myself a fan of the Azkals – the team, and Philippine football – in general, if that makes any sense.

The past year as a whole has been positive for Philippine football and the Azkals. Our own football league is slowly transitioning to the mainstream – slowly but surely drawing on supporters, we’ve qualified for the AFC Challenge cup next year, we made it to the semi-finals of the Suzuki cup, and we also made it to the second round of the FIFA qualifiers for the first time in history. Baby steps, true, but considering where Philippine football was around this time one year ago, one couldn’t help but marvel at all the Azkals have achieved in such a short time.

One year ago, do you think that MLS champions LA Galaxy would even consider playing a friendly match with our national football team? No. The fact that they played against us last December 3, 2011 is testament enough to how far Philippine football has come in a single year, and truly, what an amazing year it has been for those who love the game.

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