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Fil-Spanish Azkal subs for Phil

Cedelf P. Tupas
First Posted 01:41:41 22/03/2011


Filed Under: Sports, Football, Soccer, Angel Aldeguer



RANGOON—His lack of command of the Filipino or English language hasn’t stopped Filipino-Spanish standout Angel Aldeguer Guirado from fitting into the Philippine football team.

Guirado, whose mother, Angela Aldeguer, hails from Ilagan City in Isabela, carries around a pocket Spanish-English dictionary which he pulls out when he needs to communicate to teammates.

When he’s not using his dictionary, he speaks to them through his cousin, Rafa Garcia, who is acting as his interpreter here.

But so far, the need to use the dictionary has not been as urgent as Guirado has easily fit in with the team, even cracking jokes with other players like veteran striker Yanti Barsales of the Philippine Air Force.

“Abuelo, abuelo,” Guirado calls out Barsales, referring to the diminutive striker, breaking a lull during their stopover in Bangkok Saturday. When the team learns that Abuelo means grandfather in Spanish, they erupted in laughter.

“I’m quite comfortable with the team,” Guirado told the Inquirer, through Garcia. “It’s a very nice group.”

How well Guirado meshes with the team on the pitch, though, will be known Monday when the 6-foot-2 striker makes his debut for the Azkals against Myanmar in the AFC Challenge Cup group stage qualifying at the MFF Youth Training Center here.

The 26-year-old Guirado, who sports shoulder-length hair and resembles Houston Rockets star Luis Scola, brings with him solid credentials, boosted by a wealth of experience playing in the world’s top footballing nation, Spain.

He plays third division in the Spanish League with CD Ronda, after spending time with Atletico Madrid’s reserve team.

A potent attacking threat with quickness complementing his tall, stocky frame, Guirado, however, was quick to dismiss comparisons with star striker Phil Younghusband, who has been sidelined by a pulled hamstring in the group stage here.

“Phil is good so what’s there to compare,” said Guirado, who prefers to play right wing, but could play as an attacking midfielder here.

“I’m just here to do everything to win.”



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