One of the most prominent strikers in the recent history of the Philippine Azkals has called time on his career.
Javier Patino has decided to end his professional stint in the sport, which started when he suited up for the Alcobendas youth team in Spain and ended with Thai League 1 side Port Football Club.
He is 33 years old.
“I would like to share with all of you my decision to end my career as a professional footballer,” shared the 6-foot Filipino-Spanish striker. “I would like to express my gratitude to the football industry for everything that it has given me, for all the good times which have been many, and also for the bad times that have helped me grow as a person and as a player.
“Thanks to my wife, Patri, my love, my number one fan, the best mother for my three children. Without you, none of this would have been possible.”
Patino is best known to Filipino sports fans for suiting up for the Azkals from 2013 to 2019.
In those six years, he made 20 appearances, scored seven goals, and provided four assists.
The Madrid-born striker scored twice in his debut against Cambodia back in 2013 as part of the AFC Challenge Cup qualification campaign in Rizal Memorial.
The three-time Thai League 1 champion then put the ball at the back of the net against Bahrain, Nepal, twice against Tajikistan and his last goal came against Syria at home as part of the joint 2022 FIFA World Cup and 2023 AFC Asian Cup qualification journey in 2019.
“Thanks to the owners, directors, coaches, doctors, physios, kitmans, teammates, of all the clubs that I played for including my Sanse, Cordoba CF, Xerez CD, Buriram United, Henan Jianye, Ratchaburi FC, Thai Port FC, and the Azkals of the Philippine national team,” furthered Patino.
“I have fond memories of all of them.”
Perhaps the biggest moment in Patino’s career came with the Philippines when he was part of the country’s first expedition into Asian football’s grandest stage. As a member of the Azkals lineup in the 2019 AFC Asian Cup in the United Arab Emirates, he was a starter in the group stage matches against South Korea, China, and Kyrgyzstan.
Interestingly, Patino never suited up for the country in the AFF Suzuki Cup.
“And to finish, I want to thank all the fans for the love I have received, in good times and in bad times, you have always been there. You have made me very happy.”