The Azkals is the Philippine Men’s National Football Team. The name was coined by passionate Filipino football fans from all over the world who were discussing what suitable team name the Men’s National Team should have. They arrived at the name after realizing that the askal — “Asong Kalye” or stray dog — represented the situation of the Philippine National football team at that time. They were unsupported and no attention was given to them and yet they somehow still survived. The nickname stuck and has since taken on several different meanings. The Philippine Men’s National team still proudly carries the name as it has come to represent resilience, audacity, and also a salute to the Philippines’ and the team members’ mixed heritage.
In 2018, the team achieved its highest spot of 111th in the Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) rankings, the highest rank the national team has achieved since the introduction of such rankings in 1993. The team also ranked top among the South East Asian countries in the last couple of years. On March 27, 2018, the Azkals qualified for the AFC Asian Cup for the first time in the nation’s history.
The team’s advocacy is to reinvigorate the Filipino fire towards football and the Men’s National Team. With the support of the nation and its people, the Azkals plan to make the country proud.