Angel Guirado Aldeguer Jul 12, 2011 10:00:50 GMT 8
Post by speedy on Jul 12, 2011 10:00:50 GMT 8
Motorcade awaits Azkal in Isabela
MANILA, Philippines - Azkals striker Angel Guirado will be feted with a motorcade when he arrives in Ilagan, Isabela, his mother’s hometown, to visit his 84-year-old grandfather Adolfo Aldeguer today.
It will be a sentimental reunion for Guirado who hasn’t seen his grandfather since a visit to Ilagan with his parents, brother Juan Luis and sister Cristina six years ago.
Guirado and his aunt Gloria Aldeguer Garcia fly to Tuguegarao this morning then drive to Ilagan.
They return to Manila on a flight from Cauayan tomorrow morning.
Guirado is scheduled to leave with the Azkals for training in Bahrain on Thursday to prepare for the World Cup Asia qualifying second round series against Kuwait on July 23 and 28.
The Fil-Spanish star will pay a courtesy call on provincial and municipal officials in Ilagan before the motorcade.
This afternoon, he will be introduced by board member Jimmy Atayde, a cousin, to the provincial legislative body during a session.
Guirado, 26, has scored three goals in five unbeaten matches since joining the Azkals this year.
His Filipina mother Angela is one of Adolfo Aldeguer’s two daughters.
Aldeguer used to work for Procter and Gamble and his wife Cielo Maramag Nieto, formerly with the Development Bank of the Philippines, died in 1986.
After the Azkals crushed Sri Lanka, 4-0, to advance to the World Cup Asia qualifying second round last July 3, Guirado complained of a severely bruised left thigh and a swollen right knee.
He has undergone therapy under Josef Malinay and Wally Javier at the Philippine Center for Sports Medicine facility in the Rizal Memorial complex.
Guirado reported for Azkals practice yesterday morning.
“I’ll be ready to play against Kuwait,” said Guirado.
“I’m grateful to coach (Michael) Weiss for giving me a few days off to rest as I’ve been playing all year round. I’ve taken ultra-sound and some electric treatment for my therapy. I love playing for the Philippines and the Azkals. I won’t let our countrymen down.”
Guirado said defense is where the Azkals must focus on in training for Kuwait.
“A week ago, Kuwait beat Lebanon, 6-0, in a friendly and I think that’s an indication of their strength in offense,” he continued.
“Our defense will be challenged. During our two-week training in Germany, we gave up several goals off corner kicks in practice games.
“We’ve got to be able to do a better job defending the corner kick. I expect in training for Kuwait, we’ll work on playing zone and man defense. We’ve got to be more aggressive in going for the ball on defense. We can’t wait for the offense to attack before we move in.”
Guirado said the Azkals will be handicapped by the loss of skipper Aly Borromeo and Stephan Shrock in the Kuwait opener due to their suspension stemming from two yellow cards meted during the Sri Lanka series.
But the Azkals will be beefed up by fresh players, including defensive specialist Jason de Jong, to fill the vacuum.
Guirado said he is confident of the Azkals’ resiliency to adjust.
Guirado, a free agent since his contract with a Spanish third division team recently expired, said he’s exploring opportunities to play in an Asian league.
He is reportedly in the radar of scouts from at least four Asian countries.
“I was once approached by the agent of Spanish star Fernando Torres but it’s difficult to trust people who promise you big contracts to play in the first division,” he said.
“I know of many players who don’t get paid after playing for months.
I’ve played for several second division clubs but this past season, I decided to play for a third division club that’s close to home so that in case something untoward happens, I’m never far from my family.
I’ve finished taking a written exam to become an autobus driver and I’m given two years to complete my practicum.
My father works in a bus station and someday, I hope to take over his job.”
Guirado, the youngest of three children, began playing football when he was six.
“I played in my first league when I was seven against boys who were two or three years older,” he said.
“Growing up, I always played against boys who were older.
That’s how I developed my game.
My father Juan influenced my love for football and taught me drills on how to improve as a boy.
Now that I’m in Manila, I stay in touch with my parents through skype.
My family is very thankful for this opportunity that I have to play for the Philippines.
It’s an honor to play for the national team.”
Guirado, whose favorite player is Ronaldo and favorite team is Real Madrid, said he has no immediate plans of marriage.
He has known his girlfriend Rocio, who works for the Spanish department store chain El Corte Ingles, for four years.
Guirado, who speaks only Spanish, is slowly expanding his English and Pilipino vocabulary, lately adding “magandang umaga” “maraming salamat” “magandang hapon” “see you later” “saan ka pupunta” and “got it.”
He is learning how to sing the Philippine national anthem.