MANILA, Philippines – It’s not at all surprising that Azkals player Anton del Rosario speaks of the football sport as “soccer.” He is practically American—having been born and raised in California, USA, by Filipino-Spanish parents.
Del Rosario started hitting the pitch at the age of 5. He said his family played a big role in influencing him to take up football.
“My dad used to play rugby and stuff like that… My mom was the one who was in love with soccer. My mom used to coach us when I was a kid,” he said.
Del Rosario added that his brother, former Philippine international booter Armand del Rosario, provided him added motivation to excel in the sport.
“My older brother kept me going in it ‘cause I had that ‘older brother rivalry,’ that little competition,” he said.
He said that back in college, when not training for the varsity team, he can be found pacing over football fields during his spare time.
“All I really did was play soccer two, three times a day so it was fun,” he said.
He said that with the way things were going, he could have graduated with a football degree instead of his actual major, business administration.
Del Rosario continued this kind of lifestyle until he joined the Azkals team in 2004.
He enlisted for the national team together with his best buddy, team captain Aly Borromeo.
Name: Anton Edwin del Rosario
Birthday: December 23, 1981
Born and raised in: San Francisco, California
College graduated: Notre Dame de Namur University in California
Major: Business administration
Azkals position: Center back
Other teams: Kaya FC
What’s the most memorable game you’ve played?
(Referring to the Azkals’ victory over Vietnam in the ASEAN Football Federation Cup last year) For a game that caused us all this hype, it was top 10 story in Sports Illustrated for soccer for the year. Going in there, we were the underdogs beating the favorites (Vietnam), the defending champions also.
What do you love most about football?
The team sport. The physicality of it. You stay in great shape to be able to play it.
What other sport/s do you play?
When I was in the States, I always [played] recreationally American football. I played basketball recreationally sometimes… You name a sport and I like playing it.
What are your other interests and hobbies?
Going to the gym, [playing] poker.