RAPHAEL Obermair will skip the Philippines’ campaign in the joint qualification for the 2022 Fifa World Cup and the 2023 AFC Asian Cup, delaying his much-awaited Azkals debut.
The 25-year-old 1. FC Magdeburg booter told his club’s website about the decision, saying that he will not make it in time for the Azkals’ training camp in Doha, Qatar.
Obermair will not suit up for the senior national squad despite having already obtained his Philippine passport in time for the competition proper set next month. He is part of the initial pool released by the team.
“I was very happy about the nomination and am extremely grateful that it worked out so quickly with my passport and my Filipino citizenship,” said Obermair.
“But I have decided to forego this trip now. I would not be coming to Germany until May 30th, and I still haven't gotten to know the team and the whole team around it. And it is very important to me to get a good insight,” he added.
Obermair has been eyed by Azkals management for several years already. Born in Prien am Chiemsee, Germany to a Filipina mother, Obermair once suited up for the reserve team of German Bundesliga side Bayern Munich.
He is currently playing for 1. FC Magdeburg, a third-division club in Germany.
Obermair said he is looking forward to the next opportunity of playing for the Azkals. He added in the interview that he intends to give away his kit to his mother as a gift.
“I would be happy if the next international trip works out, hopefully this year,” said Obermair.
“I'm very proud, even if it's a small country in terms of football. But I keep hearing that the national team is very important in the Philippines. I am also told very often when I will be playing for the national team. My mother is also really looking forward to seeing me in this special jersey,” he added.
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