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Azkals debut will be better than Christmas for Bienve Maranon

One player whom Filipino football fans are happy to finally see don the Philippine Azkals kit is Bienvenido Marañon, who is raring to go after missing the joint 2022 FIFA World Cup/2023 AFC Asian Cup qualifiers earlier this year.

The four-time Philippines Football League champion will finally represent the Philippines in the upcoming 2020 AFF Suzuki Cup. And he promises to help the country win the elusive title.

In a virtual press conference hosted by local broadcaster TapGo, he made it clear how excited he feels to compete in the biggest tournament in Southeast Asia.

“We will try to give our 200 percent every single game because we are not fighting for a team – we are fighting for the country,” said Marañon. “I can’t wait to start the training, start the games. Because for me this is totally different compared to what I did before.

“I promised the coach, I promise to everybody that I will fight in every single training to be the best in the game. Hopefully, I can adjust to the team… I’m sure these five days we have for training before the first game… I will know them, they will know me, and we will do something great.”

Despite being one of the 18 debutants for the Philippines in the upcoming regional meet, much is expected from Marañon. After all, he is notably one of the country’s three forwards aside from veterans Angel Guirado and Patrick Reichelt.

With Azkals Development Team star Jarvey Gayoso injured, Kaya skipper Jovin Bedic unavailable, and striker Javier Patino retired, in a sense, the United City star needs to make an instant impact at the opposing end of the pitch. However, he does not feel an extra burden on his shoulders at all.

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2OT-x-Crossover-Angelo-Kouame-x-Bienve-Maranon Azkals debut will be better than Christmas for Bienve Maranon Football News Philippine Azkals  - philippine sports news

“For me, to already be here is a pleasure,” said the former Cadiz player. “What I can do here is train hard, try to do my best. Of course, I cannot just score goals. I promise them to work hard and the goals will come.

“For me, it’s something new. It’s not the same when I play with my club in the AFC Champions League or AFC Cup. This is totally different. Now we are representing the country, the country I have fallen in love with, and now this is a different history. But for me, there’s no pressure in this. I will just try to do my best and I think with this it’s enough.”

The past postponements of the current edition of the Suzuki Cup have made it a huge sacrifice for everyone involved in the Azkals contingent. They will be forced to spend time away from their loved ones during this festive season.

While that is a huge price to pay, Marañon accepts the situation at hand.

2021-afc-champions-league-united-city-maranon Azkals debut will be better than Christmas for Bienve Maranon Football News Philippine Azkals  - philippine sports news

Photo from UCFC

“For me, I feel so happy to be here. Also, my family is very happy that I stay here. You know, Christmas is every year. Playing with the Azkals is not every year.

“So being asked to be here, I’m very, very happy. I come here and I will like to be here until January 1, 2022, since that will mean we did something great and my family also supports me,” said the 2020 PFL Golden Boot awardee. “Everybody has to know in football, to play with the Azkals, it doesn’t matter the day that you come here, you have to come and you have to enjoy no?”

Football has brought so many challenges and memorable experiences to Maranon in his life. The Suzuki Cup is merely another chapter in it and it is one he is looking forward to as another avenue to pay it forward to the fans.

“Every time in my life, I play football to enjoy. I play football to make the supporters happy. Today, I’m doing this game in the Suzuki Cup and it will be the same. I’m doing my best. I’m sure with this, it will be enough to make them happy.”

Written By

Lorenzo's a frustrated author who knows a thing or two about Football and Basketball. Went all green from Ortigas to Taft. Supports Liverpool FC, FC Bayern Munich and the Alaska Aces

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