BANGKOK – What a fitting birthday present it would be for Carli de Murga.
The Filipino- Spanish defender, who turns 24 Friday, may finally get his chance to suit up for the Philippine men’s football team in its final group stage game against Myanmar after coach Michael Weiss hinted he is the possible replacement starter for the injured Ray Jonsson.
De Murga expressed his eagerness to play for the Azkals in Southeast Asia’s premier football competition after being on the bench in the national team’s first two games against Thailand and Vietnam.
“Last two games I was on the bench. Now I’m waiting for my chance so I will try to do my best and help my team,” he said. “I’m ready and excited to play.”
A fixture in the starting lineup during the Azkals’ title conquest in the Philippine Football Peace Cup in Manila, De Murga surrendered his spot in the back four in the Suzuki Cup to his more decorated teammates like the Filipino-Icelandic Jonsson, who’s out for two weeks with a torn right quadriceps.
De Murga admitted he was a bit disappointed not to be able to show his wares in the Azkals' first two games.
“Every player wants to play in the starting eleven but coach is the one who decides the team and I always agree with his decision,” he said. “Only thing I can do is do my best in training and let him know that I’m always ready for the team.”