Naturalization candidate Marañon can make impact for Azkals, says Schrock

Azkals captain Stephan Schrock sees Spanish-born striker Bienvenido Marañon as a huge addition as soon as he becomes eligible to represent the Philippines as a naturalized player.

Having played with Marañon at Ceres Negros FC and later at United City FC, Schrock knows only too well how lethal Marañon can be when he’s given opportunities in front of goal.

Marañon, who holds the AFC Cup goalscoring record with 34 goals, is close to acquiring his citizenship after Senate Bill No. 1391 was approved last March. The bill only needs the signature of President Duterte to become a law.

“In every tournament he played, Bienve just bamboozled the competition; he’s scoring in every game of every competition and in every important game, he’s there,” said Schrock.

Schrock hopes Marañon can secure his papers before the Azkals resume their Joint FIFA World Cup-AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers slated June 3-June 15 in a centralized venue in China.

“He would help us when we go to China for the qualifiers because he’s an absolute killer,” said Schrock. “It’s a pleasure to have him in the team with Ceres and United and I’m looking forward to having him in the Azkals.”

Schrock said that Marañon’s big-match experience will come in handy for the Azkals, who sit in third behind Syria and China in their qualifying group.

“He knows that but he can handle the pressure. He’s one of the smartest players I’ve played and he will be a big boost for the national team,” he said.