New Filipino-Spanish striker for Azkals

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AZKALS team manager Dan Palami (left) and PFF general secretary Ed Gastanes present Javier Patiño his Philippine kit. CEDELF P. TUPAS

As a striker for Spanish second division side Cordoba, Javier Patiño Lachica earned a reputation as a scorer of important goals, which prompted the club’s fans to christen him with the monicker “Patigol” in reference to Argentine great Gabriel Batistuta.

Now, the prolific Filipino-Spanish striker hopes to bring his scoring exploits to the Philippine national side starting with the AFC Challenge Cup Qualifiers next month in Manila.

“I’m good at scoring goals and I’m a team player,” Patiño told the Inquirer in an exclusive interview Tuesday night just before he returned to Spain.

Patiño, who only speaks Spanish, was in Manila for a couple of days to process his passport, which will pave the way for him to boost the Azkals’ attack.

Patiño had long been in the Azkals’ sights since Filipino-Spanish defender Juani Guirado told team manager Dan Palami that the striker had Filipino lineage.

Guirado was instrumental in convincing Patiño to play for his mother’s homeland—mostly through messages on Facebook.

“Juani told me it would be a good experience,” said Patiño through interpreter Rafa Garcia.

Patiño’s mother, Adolfa Cristina Lachica, hails from Dumanjug, Cebu, and she couldn’t have been happier when Madrid-born Javier, 24, made the decision.

“My mother was very emotional,” said Javier, whose last visit in the country was when he was 12. “It’s always been her hope that we reconnect with family and relatives who we haven’t seen for a long time.”

“What I learn in Spain I will try to impart to the team,” said Patiño. “I didn’t imagine [joining the Azkals] last year, but I’m here to help.”

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  • Noel

    Majority of the foreign players with alleged Filipino blood cannot speak Filipino.  Ridiculous.

    • baluga_ang_tataba_nang_nakaupo

      can all fil-foreign speak tagalog kaya nga tinawag na fil foreign e.kasi kng walang foreign sa harapan maiintindhan kta kaso may FOREIGN dba.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_GRVAJUYIO6PRIAPQHNE6MYKNEQ Lando

    Mabuhay Azkals !! Dont mind the crabs !

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_DEPCCS5H4JA7WLAAPMZA2MLSQM jenna

    Isa na naman di sumikat sikat sa international competition ang sasambahin ng mga pinoy. Masaya na tayo sa 2nd division players.  Sila Younghusband kahit sumuka ng dugo sa UK, di nila makakalaro si Beckham. Pero dahil sa Pinas Azkals, nakapaglaro pa ng friendly game with LA Galaxy and Beckham, lol.  I just wish they give their 101% hardwork and dedication for the Philippines. Because without Pilipinas, they are nothing.  They should embrace our country. Otherwise, they are just a bunch of mercinaries playing for fame and fortune. 

    • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/J4WK4GQJ4HMNJTAOOBKOOYF7JM jeff

      Jenna, nanood ka ng laro ng azkals? ano ba pa dapat gawin ng mga Younghusbands para masabi mo na mahalin nila ang Pilipinas? Di ba dito na sila nakatira?Marunong ng magtagalog,unlike sa mga players ng PBA ng foreign born pero di marunong managalog kahit ang tagal na nilang naglalaro sa pba. ako basketball fan ako pero I admire the Younghusbands and Azkals on what they did the football here.

      • Noel

        Kung Younghusband brothers lang, saludo ako sa kanila lalo na si Phil na patuloy na nag-aaral ng Tagalog kahit hirap.  Nakatutuwa din tignan na pareho silang umaawit ng Pambansang Awit twing may laro.  Di tulad ng mga purong Pinoy na nakatunton lang ng Amerika puro Ingles na.  Isang halimbawa si Charice.

    • Noel

      Ang mga second at third class players sa ibang bansa first class sa atin.  It’s a sad reality just to show how behind football is in this country.

  • regd

    Kung ganito man lang, paki-check nga baka may konting dugong pinoy si Messi ng Argentina. Kahit si Xavi or Iniesta man lang ng Espanyol. Baka mga ninuno natin naka-iskor sa mga bansang ito. Matinik kasi tayo hehehe.

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