Naturalized player Bienvenido Marañon vowed to give a maximum effort as he makes his debut for the Philippine Azkals in the pandemic-delayed AFF Suzuki Cup 2020.
Marañon said the new challenge of trying to give the Azkals a serious chance at winning the prestigious competition is something he looks forward to after spending most of the year working on his naturalized process.
“We will try to give our 200 percent every single game because we are not fighting for a team but we are fighting for the country,” Marañon said during a press conference hosted by TAP DMV, which secured the rights to broadcast the Suzuki Cup through various platforms.
“I cannot wait for the games to start because for me this is totally different from what I did before,” added the United City FC striker who hails from Cadiz, Spain.
The 35-year-old had been a big part of historic feats before in the club level, helping the defunct Ceres-Negros appear in numerous AFC Cup tournaments while also a part of United City’s squad in this year’s AFC Champions League.
This time, Marañon will be among the key names tasked to put the Azkals in a position to make it past the semifinals.
Like any first-timer, Marañon will try to adjust as quickly as he can in order to play a key role in the competition.
“I promise the coach I promise to everybody that I will fight in every single training in order to be the best in the game,” he said.
“Hopefully I can adjust to the team because I know many many players because I play with them in Philippines. Most of them I didn’t play and I have to adjust them.”
Marañon and the Azkals begin their campaign in Group A on Dec. 8 against host Singapore before facing Timor-Leste on Dec. 11, Thailand on Dec. 14 and Myanmar on Dec. 18.
A top two finish will send the Philippines to the semis set Dec. 22 to 26 with the two-legged finals slated Dec. 29 and Jan. 1, 2022.