Football

Best is yet to come for Philipine football, says Azkals coach Weiss

InterAKTV/Roy Afable

InterAKTV/Roy Afable

National coach Hans Michael Weiss said that the best is yet to come for Philippine football after an impressive year for the Azkals.

In a Christmas message to Filipino fans, Weiss said that the future is bright for the Azkals after their achievements this year, which include reaching their highest FIFA World Ranking in history at 143rd last November and a second straight semifinal run in the 2012 ASEAN Football Federation Suzuki Cup this month.

Last March, the Azkals bagged third place in the 2012 Asian Football Confederation Challenge Cup, a football competition among emerging nations in Asia, and clinched the Philippine Football Peace Cup last September in Manila, the country’s first international title in almost a century.

“I am 100% convinced that we will be stronger in the next years and a football nation to be taken seriously,” Weiss said in a statement Sunday.

The Azkals set new record-high world rankings three times this year, becoming one of the best teams in the region based on the global football ladder.

“With all the preparations and intensive training periods, we were travelling with high hopes to the AFF Suzuki Cup where we duplicated the success of 2010 by reaching the semifinals again and beating Myanmar the first time in the history of Philippine Football,” Weiss said.

“Despite not reaching the Finals in the Suzuki Cup, I think we have grown steadily in the past 2 years under my guidance, creating one historical success after another, being the “most improved team” in the FIFA and ELO rankings and having gained respect and recognition from our opponents and the WORLDWIDE FOOTBALL COMMUNITY.”

Weiss, who is expected to stay on with the Azkals after the expiration of his contract, hopes that people will continue to support the team in coming years.

“With the combined efforts of all stakeholders in the country and going in one direction, I am sure we will bring joy and glory to the wonderful country of the PHILIPPINES!!” he said.

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