Fil-Spanish striker excited to play for Azkals

By Dennis Gasgonia,

Posted at Mar 04 2011 10:46 PM | Updated as of Mar 06 2011 10:17 AM

Angel Aldeguer (left) with his cousin Rafael Garcia.
MANILA, Philippines -- The newest Philippine Azkals team member, Filipino-Spanish Angel Aldeguer, is waiting for the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) approval for him to suit up for the Nationals should they barge into the Challenge Cup Group Stage.

But even without the approval, Aldeguer said he feels like an Azkal already.

“Yes I am already an official member of the Azkals,” said the 6’2” Spanish-speaking striker through his cousin Rafael Garcia, who acted as his translator.

Aldeguer already has a Philippine passport and is raring to represent the country in the Challenge Cup Group Stage.

The Azkals will face Myanmar should they get past the Mongolia Blue Wolves in the second leg of the Challenge Cup qualifiers.

“We're just waiting for the go signal of the AFC if he could play against the Myanmar,” said Garcia who is incidentally, a brother of former Rain or Shine head coach, Caloy Garcia.

The Fil-Spanish is planning to take English lessons so he can communicate better with his team, composed mainly of Filipino-British and full-blooded Pinoy players.

The 26-year-old Aldeguer arrived in Manila last Tuesday and has been training with the Azkals since.

“He trained with the team already… He's happy about the team, the team really welcomed him. It's a very

competitive play,” said Garcia.

Born with ball on the foot

Angel Aldeguer during practice.
Aldeguer was born in Malaga, southern Spain to a Filipina mother, who hails from Ilagan, Isabela.

He’s been playing football since he was 6. “He was born with a ball on the foot already,” quipped Garcia.

He suited as a forward for Spanish third division Club Deportivo Ronda and also trained with Spain’s first division team.

Aldeguer said he has long dreamed of playing for the National team.

“When the opportunity came along, I took the opportunity… It's an honor to represent the country,” he said.

When asked about his team mates' chances versus Mongolia this coming March 15, Aldeguer said the only thing the Azkals should worry about is the Mongolian weather.

“He's hoping that the team would be able to adjust with the weather. But he has good vibes that the team will win,” said Garcia.