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Marañon Wants To Be An Azkal

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With his naturalization moving closer to approval, Spanish striker Bienvenido Maranon expressed his desire to become part of the national men’s football team in the future.

The United City Football Club star said that it was really his dream to be able to join the Philippine Azkals once his naturalization papers have gained the nod of the Congress and is approved by President Rodrigo Duterte.

“I would like to be one of you: to be part of [the] Azkals,” the 34-year-old Maranon said. “I would like to help them along as much as I can and be part of Philippine football’s development.”

The House of Representatives has recently approved on third and finals reading the measure filed by Manila First District representative Manny Lopez granting Maranon’s Filipino citizenship.

Also co-authoring the bill together with 16 other congressmen, were Bacolod City lone district congressman Greg Gasataya, Ilongga Rep. Sharon Garin and Second District Rep. Leo Rafael Cueva.

However, a separate measure in the Senate, which was filed by Negrense senator Juan Miguel Zubiri, remained pending at the committee level.

Marañon played for the defunct Ceres-Negros Football Club since he arrived in the country in 2015. He steered the club as it reached the ASEAN Zonal Final of the AFC Cup in 2017 and 2018.

He also made a huge impact in the domestic league helping Ceres-Negros FC grand slam title in the Philippines Football League from 2017 to 2019 and added another for United City FC this 2020 PFL season.

Once naturalized as a Filipino, Marañon will be given all the rights, privileges and prerogatives, as well as the duties and obligations as a Filipino citizen.

HB 8631 also provides that upon taking oath of allegiance to the Republic before an officer duly authorized for the pursue and registration of the same with the Bureau of Immigration and the issuance to him of the Certificate of Naturalization, Marañon shall enter upon the full enjoyment of Philippine citizenship.