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Philippines national football team


Philippines national football team

Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s) Azkals[1] (Street dogs)
Association Philippine Football Federation
Sub-confederation AFF (South-East Asia)
Confederation AFC (Asia)
Head coach Thomas Dooley
Captain Phil Younghusband
Top scorer Phil Younghusband (42)
Home stadium Philippine Sports Stadium
Rizal Memorial Stadium
FIFA ranking
Current 134 Decrease 9 (1 October 2015)
Highest 124 (July 2015)
Lowest 195 (September 2006)
Elo ranking
Current 135
Highest 26 (February 1913 – May 1915)
Lowest 216 (December 2004)
First international
 Philippines 2–1 China 
(Manila, Philippines; February 1, 1913)
Biggest win
 Japan 2–15 Philippines
(Tokyo, Japan; May 10, 1917)[2]
Biggest defeat
 Japan 15–0 Philippines
(Tokyo, Japan; September 28, 1967)

The Philippines national football team is the national football team of the Philippines and represents the country in international football. The team is controlled by the Philippine Football Federation (PFF), the governing body of football in the Philippines. Philippines' home grounds are the Philippine Sports Stadium in Bocaue, Bulacan, and the Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila and the current coach is Thomas Dooley.

The national team has never qualified for the FIFA World Cup or the Asian Cup, despite being one of the oldest national teams in Asia[3] and has been playing at the international level as early as 1913.[4] The national team's best finish in a major tournament was at the 2014 AFC Challenge Cup where they finished second after losing to Palestine in the finals.[5]


  • History 1
    • Early years 1.1
    • 1950s–1990s 1.2
    • 2000s 1.3
    • 2010s 1.4
  • Team image 2
    • Supporters 2.1
    • Colors 2.2
    • Names 2.3
    • Stadium 2.4
  • Competitive records 3
    • World Cup 3.1
    • Olympic Games 3.2
    • Asian Cup 3.3
    • Asian Games 3.4
    • AFC Challenge Cup 3.5
    • Far Eastern Games 3.6
    • AFF Championship 3.7
    • Southeast Asian Games 3.8
    • Minor tournaments 3.9
  • Players 4
    • Current squad 4.1
    • Recent call-ups 4.2
    • Previous squads 4.3
  • Fixtures and results 5
  • Coaches 6
    • Previous coaches 6.1
  • See also 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9


Early years

Paulino Alcántara one of the earlier members of the national team who also played for Spanish club, FC Barcelona.

The Philippines participated at the Far Eastern Championship Games, which included football. The first edition was in 1913 and the last was in 1934. The games were the first regional football tournament for national teams outside Britain. The national team routinely faced Japan and China and at one edition the Dutch East Indies at the games. The Philippines won over China at the inaugural tournament with the scoreline of 2–1. At the 1917 edition, the Philippine team achieved its biggest win in international football to date against Japan with the scoreline of 15–2 with the help of Paulino Alcantara.[4][6][7]

After the dissolution of the Far Eastern Championship Games, the national squad participated at the Republic of China.[8][9]


In the 1950s the Philippines hosted friendlies with international-based sides, However the national team experienced lack of funding and barely received any coverage from the media. During that time talents from the national team were drawn from the Manila Football League which received substantial support from the Chinese-Filipino community. The national team's decent performance at the 1958 Asian Games, hosted in Tokyo, where they defeated Japan, 1–0 in a game which was labeled as an upset by the Japanese press.[10]

After 1958, saw the decline of Philippine football, several key players resigned from the national team due to financial challenges for playing for the national team. National team players

  • Philippine Football Federation
  • Philippines at
  • Philippines – World football elo ratings at (Includes past fixtures & results)

External links

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See also

Previous coaches

Michael Weiß led the national team to its best finish in a tournament sanctioned by the Asian Football Confederation and FIFA by leading the team to second place at the 2014 AFC Challenge Cup. The past three coaches, Simon McMenemy, Michael Weiß and current head coach, Thomas Dooley, also made some strides at the regional level leading the team to the semifinals at the AFF Suzuki Cup (2010, 2012 and 2014 editions respectively), the top football tournament in Southeast Asia. Eckhard Krautzun also led the national team to the semifinals, its best finish at the 1991 Southeast Asian Games, before football became an under-23 tournament at said multi-sporting event.

One of the earlier coaches of the national team was Dionisio Calvo. Foreign coaches of American, Argentinean, English, German, Scottish and Spanish nationality has managed the national team. Juan Cutillas has managed the team in at least four non-consecutive tenures (1969–78, 1981–1984, 1996–00 and 2008–09).

Current coaching staff
Position Name
Head Coach Thomas Dooley
Assistant Coach Sebastian Stache
Team Manager Dan Palami
Fitness Coach Josef Malinay
Goalkeeping Coach Pascal Zuberbühler


Fixtures and results

Previous squads

No. Pos. Player Date of Birth (age) Club
1GK Florencio Badelic Jr. (1994-05-22) May 22, 1994 Global
1GK Tomas Trigo (1989-06-08) June 8, 1989 Loyola Meralco Sparks
2DF Juan Luis Guirado (1979-08-27) August 27, 1979 Ceres
2DF Álvaro Silva (1984-03-30) March 30, 1984 Daejeon Citizen
3MF Paolo Bugas (1994-10-22) October 22, 1994 Global
3MF Curt Dizon (1994-02-04) February 4, 1994 Loyola
3MF Chris Greatwich (1983-09-30) September 30, 1983 Kaya
3MF Simon Greatwich (1988-09-30) September 30, 1988 Loyola Meralco Sparks
3MF Satoshi Ōtomo (1981-10-01) October 1, 1981 Yokogawa Musashino
3MF James Younghusband (1986-09-04) September 4, 1986 Loyola Meralco Sparks
4FW Mark Hartmann (1992-01-20) January 20, 1992 Global
4FW Javier Patiño Injured (1988-02-14) February 14, 1988 Henan Jianye
The following players have been called up for the Philippines within the past 12 months.

Recent call-ups

No. Pos. Player Date of Birth (age) Club
1 1GK Neil Etheridge (1990-02-07) February 7, 1990 Walsall
15 1GK Roland Müller (1988-03-02) March 2, 1988 Servette
16 1GK Patrick Deyto (1990-02-15) February 15, 1990 Global
2 2DF Rob Gier (1981-01-06) January 6, 1981 Ascot United
3 2DF Stephan Palla (1989-05-15) May 15, 1989 Wolfsberger AC
4 2DF Simone Rota (1984-11-06) November 6, 1984 Stallion
11 2DF Daisuke Sato (1994-09-20) September 20, 1994 Global
12 2DF Amani Aguinaldo (1995-04-24) April 24, 1995 Global
22 2DF Kenshiro Daniels (1995-01-13) January 13, 1995 Kaya
6 3MF Luke Woodland (1995-07-21) July 21, 1995 Chester
7 3MF Iain Ramsay (1988-02-27) February 27, 1988 Tractor Sazi
8 3MF Manuel Ott (1992-05-06) May 6, 1992 Ceres
9 3MF Misagh Bahadoran (1987-01-10) January 10, 1987 Global
13 3MF Dennis Villanueva (1992-04-28) April 28, 1992 Global
14 3MF Kevin Ingreso (1993-02-10) February 10, 1993 SV Drochtersen/Assel
17 3MF Stephan Schröck (1986-08-21) August 21, 1986 SpVgg Greuther Fürth
18 3MF Patrick Reichelt (1988-06-15) June 15, 1988 Ceres
19 3MF Jerry Lucena (1980-08-11)August 11, 1980 (aged 34) Esbjerg
21 3MF Martin Steuble (1988-06-09) June 9, 1988 Ceres
23 3MF Paul Mulders (1981-01-16) January 16, 1981 Ceres
26 3MF OJ Porteria (1994-05-09) May 9, 1994 Kaya
10 4FW Phil Younghusband (1987-08-04) August 4, 1987 Loyola Meralco Sparks

Match dates: October 13, 2015
Opposition: Bahrain [87]
Competition: 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification – AFC Second Round

Current squad


) hosted by the home country. 2014 and 2013, 2012 (Philippine Peace Cup) held in Taiwan, and all three editions of the 2011, 2010 (Long Teng Cup, the East Asian Games in 1940-sanctioned Japanese EmpireThe Philippines participated at numerous minor friendly tournaments. Aside from other national teams, the Philippine nationals also faced selection teams and club sides from other nations at some of these tournaments. The team made a podium finish, placing not below third place, at the

Minor tournaments

  • Only until the 1999 edition is listed; football at the SEA Games changed to an under-23 tournament since the 2001 edition.
  • The 1959–1975 editions are not listed as the Philippines were not yet members of the SEAP Federation.
The senior national team managed to reach the semi-finals of the football tournament of the Southeast Asian Games before the football was made into an under-23 tournament.

Southeast Asian Games

The Philippines fared poorly during the first seven edition of the AFF Championship from 1996 to 2008 losing 19 out of 21 matches.[81] The Philippines' worst defeat at the tournament was the 1–13 match against Indonesia at the 2002 AFF Championship which was also remains the highest scoreline in the tournament as of 2014.[86] The national team made to its first semi-finals at the 2010 AFF Championship.[81]

AFF Championship

Out of the ten football tournaments held in 10 editions of the Far Eastern Games, The Philippines only won inaugural 1913 edition[84] despite fielding American, Spanish and British players violating tournament rules. The team was nevertheless named champions.[85] China was awarded champions of the nine other editions of the tournaments.[84] At the 1917 Far Eastern Games, the Philippines recorded its biggest victory in an international match to date, which was the 15–2 win against Japan. FC Barcelona player, Paulino Alcántara was part of the national squad.[6]

Far Eastern Games

The Philippines' AFC Challenge Cup record
Year AFC Challenge Cup record Qualifying record
Round GP W D L GS GA Round GP W D L GS GA
2006 Round 1 3 0 2 1 2 3 No qualification
2008 Did not qualify Group Stage 3 2 1 0 4 0
2010 Did not qualify Group Stage 3 1 0 2 3 8
2012 3rd place 5 3 0 2 9 8 Round 2 5 2 2 1 7 3
2014 2nd place 5 3 1 1 7 3 Group Stage 2 2 0 0 9 0
Total 13 6 3 4 18 14 - 13 7 3 3 23 11

The AFC Challenge Cup was organized as a route for nations classified as "emerging or "developing" as a sole route to qualify for the Asian Cup. The Philippines is among these nations[78][79] and participated at the inaugural 2006 AFC Challenge Cup. After a qualification phase was introduced the Philippines failed to qualify for the next two succeeding editions in 2008 and 2010. The Philippines qualified for the 2012 AFC Challenge Cup where the finished third.[81] Phil Younghusband was the Golden Boot winner of the edition scoring six goals in the final tournament.[82] The team reached the finals of 2014 edition of the tournament settling for second place after losing to Palestine in the finals.[83] The AFC Challenge Cup tournament was dissolved after the 2014 edition.[79]

AFC Challenge Cup

  • Only until the 1998 edition is listed; football at the Asian Games changed to an under-23 tournament since the 2002 edition.
edition. 1954 where it reached the Quarterfinals of the tournament. The Philippines also has hosted the 1958 Asian GamesThe senior national team made its best finish at the

Asian Games

  • After the inception of the AFC Challenge Cup, new changes in AFC Competition rules were made. Countries categorized as "emerging nations" which include the Philippines, do not enter Asian Cup qualification starting with the 2011 edition. Therefore, failure to qualify and failure to win the Challenge Cup automatically results in failure to qualify for the Asian Cup.[80]

The Philippines has never qualified for the Asian Cup. For the 2007 until the 2015 AFC Asian Cup, the Philippines attempted to qualify for the tournament through the AFC Challenge Cup.[74][78][79]

Asian Cup

  • Since 1992, the Olympic team has been drawn from a squad with a maximum of three players over 23 years of age, and the achievements of this team are not generally regarded as part of the national team's records, nor are the statistics credited to the players' international records.
The senior national team never managed to qualify for the Olympics.

Olympic Games

The national team did not enter the qualifiers for the next succeeding editions until the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, about 10 years later.[75] The national team secured their first victory in a World Cup qualifier against Sri Lanka, 4–0.[76][77]

At the 2002 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, Yanti Barsales made the first goal for the Philippines at a FIFA World Cup qualifier against Syria.[73][74]

The Philippines has never qualified for the FIFA World Cup. The national team entered the 1950 FIFA World Cup qualification but withdrew without playing a single game. The country's entry to the 1966 edition was not accepted due to its association not being able to pay the registration fee for the qualifiers and the national team withdrew from the 1974 FIFA World Cup qualification just as they did in the 1950 qualifiers.[71][72] The national team made its first participation in a FIFA World Cup qualifiers for the 1998 edition.

World Cup

Competitive records

The national team also held official international matches at the Cebu City Sports Complex in Cebu City,[67] Panaad Stadium in Bacolod,[68] Iloilo Sports Complex in Iloilo City[69] and at the Barotac Nuevo Plaza Field in Barotac Nuevo, Iloilo.[70]

The RMSC has also become a hub for track and field. The continued use for athletics along with poor maintenance has deteriorated the stadium and the 1991 Southeast Asian Games was the last time it was used for international football matches. In early 2009, the Philippine Sports Commission planned to transform it to a modern football stadium which would make it usable by the national team for international matches.[66]

During the early years of the Philippine national team, they played their home matches at the Manila Carnival Grounds. By 1934 it became the site of the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex.[65] One of the facilities within the complex is the 12,000 capacity national stadium, known as the Rizal Memorial Track and Football Stadium or simply the Rizal Memorial Stadium. Since its opening, it has been the home venue of the Philippine national team until May 2015 where they declared the 25,000 seater and Philippine Sports Stadium in Bocaue, Bulacan as their new home.

Rizal Memorial Stadium


They are also known as the "Tri–Stars" which is derived from the three stars on the Philippine flag, although this nickname is not frequently used.[64]

The national team is referred to as the "Azkals".[61] The name was coined when an online Philippine football community proposed the nickname Calle Azul (Spanish for Streets of Blue, referring to the color of their kit) which was modified to Azul Calle, shortened to AzCal, and finally became Azkal – a word that is similar to Filipino term Askal meaning street dog.[62] “Azkals” became a trending topic on Twitter during the semifinals of the 2010 AFF Suzuki Cup.[63]

Under the official country code for the Philippines as PHL.[53] However the team was more commonly known as the RP, the acronym for the country's official name, Republika ng Pilipinas,[52] which the local press used when they referred to the team as the "RP Booters"[54] or the "RP XI".[55] This was until late October 2010 when the Department of Foreign Affairs decided to change the official abbreviation of the country from "RP" to "PH" or "PHL", to be in line with ISO standards.[56] The local press have since referred to the team as either "PH/PHL Booters"[57][58] or "PH/PHL XI".[59][60]

The logo sometimes used in broadcasts



The traditional home kit is similar to the France national team; blue jersey, white shorts, and red socks.[50] However, in recent times, the home and away kit has either been all-blue, all-red or all-white. Currently the home kit's main color is white, while the away kit is blue.[51]

On 2015, the PFF signed a deal with local kit supplier, LGR Sportswear. In June 3, 2015, a new set of kits made by LGR were unveiled to the public which will be used by the national team at the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers. The home and away kits were white and blue respectively. Filipino weave design and the three stars and the sun are present at the back of the home and away kits. The goalkeeper's kit is black and has a yellow trim on the chest area and a weave pattern with the three stars and the sun and azkals logo incorporated in the design,in front around the shoulder area. Adidas was also announced as the footwear sponsor of the team for the qualifiers[49]

On June 4, 2012, the PFF signed a three-year, estimated 18.5-million agreement with Puma to become the official kit, training, & equipment sponsor of the national team. In Q3 2013, they released the official long term home and away kits in association with Cougar Athletic Trends, with designs said to be comparable to that of Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Uruguay and other nations that use Puma as their kit designers. The kits utilized the lightweight, top of the line, PUMA Cell fabric technology. The 3 stars, representing the 3 major island groups: Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao were incorporated at the inner collar area.[48]

In March 2008, the PFF signed a three-year, 9-million contract with Mizuno to become the official outfitter and equipment supplier of the national team, as well as becoming a major partner in its grassroots development programs.[46][47]

Puma was the official outfitter of the national team during the 1996 AFC Asian Cup qualification.[44] Later that year, Adidas assumed that role and outfitted the team that participated at the 1996 Tiger Cup.[45]

The "three stars and the sun", is among the elements of the Filipino weave design incorporated in the most recent set of kits released by LGR.


Some fans have organized themselves to support the national team. Among these groups were the Kaholeros which formed in 2011 and the Ultras Filipinas in 2012.[42][43] The Kaholeros started out as a gathering of friends following a Tweet blast in Twitter calling for fans to watch games of the AFC Challenge Cup at the National Sports Grill in Greenbelt. The Ultras Filipinas was established when fans of Philippine Air Force F.C. and Ultras Kayas decided to form a support group for the national teams of the Philippines not necessarily just for the football team. The first outing of Ultras Filipinas was not for the national football team but for the national rugby union team. The two fan groups take alternative turns in cheering and chanting for the national team during games.[43]

Fans of the national team during a friendly against SV Darmstadt 98 in Germany.
June 24, 2011


Team image

In the 2014 AFF Championship, the Philippines defeated Indonesia for the first time since the 1934 Far Eastern Games.[37] This win and an earlier win against Laos propelled the Philippines to a third consecutive semifinal appearance despite losing to group stage host Vietnam on their third match.[38] The Philippines faced Thailand in the two-legged semifinal, coming up with a goalless draw against their opponents at home in Manila but losing the away match at Bangkok.[39] Under new coach Thomas Dooley, the Philippines defeated Bahrain in their first match of 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying.[40] They then won their first-ever World Cup qualifier away from home, a 2–0 victory over Yemen in Doha, Qatar. The country also achieved its highest FIFA Ranking anew following back-to-back wins in the qualifiers.[41]

The Philippines reached the final of the 2014 AFC Challenge Cup. With a berth to the 2015 AFC Asian Cup on the line, the Philippines lost to Palestine 1–0 on May 30. In the Peace Cup later that year, Myanmar defeated the Philippines 3–2 in the final.

On November 30, 2012, the team made it to the semifinals of the 2012 AFF Suzuki Cup. The Rizal Memorial Stadium hosted its first Suzuki Cup match, a 0–0 draw against Singapore; Singapore won the semifinals by winning the return leg in Singapore, 1–0.

On September 29, 2012, the Philippines won the 2012 Philippine Peace Cup by winning all of the three matches. It was also their first title since the 1913 Far Eastern Games.

On March 11, 2012, the Philippines recorded its first win in the AFC Challenge Cup by defeating previous champions India 2–0 and followed by another victory in March 13, which they won 2–1 against Tajikistan, thus qualifying for the semifinals for the first time. However, on March 16, 2012, the team suffered a 2–1 defeat against Turkmenistan in their semifinals match.[35] The Philippines made up for their semifinals loss to Turkmenistan by beating Palestine 4–3 to win third place.[36]

On July 3, 2011, the Philippines recorded their first ever victory in FIFA World Cup qualification, beating Sri Lanka 4–0 in the second leg of the first preliminary round. They advanced 5–1 on aggregate, drawing 1–1 in the first leg before winning at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.[34] The Philippines advanced to the second round against Kuwait, where the Filipinos were beaten 5–1 on aggregate, losing both matches.

In 2010, they qualified for the 2010 AFF Suzuki Cup, where they stayed undefeated in the group stage against powerhouses nations and also went on to beat defending champions Vietnam, in a match considered as one of the biggest upsets in the history of the tournament.[31] Their win against Vietnam, also referred by local Filipino fans as the "Miracle of Hanoi", was considered as the match that started a football renaissance in the country where basketball is the more popular sport.[32][33] The team reached the knockout stage for the first time but played all their games in Jakarta due to the unavailability of a stadium that passes AFF standards, eventually losing to Indonesia in the semifinals. The Philippines was the first and, as of now, only team that made to the AFF Semi-Finals that went through the qualification. In 2011, the Philippines qualified for the AFC Challenge Cup for the first time since qualifiers were introduced in the tournament.

Starting eleven of the national team against the Maldives in a international friendly match, September 3, 2015
A friendly between the Philippine national team (in red) vs. CPU International Football Team (in blue) with the latter composed mainly of Korean college students; The game was played on May 24, 2011 in Barotac Nuevo ended in a 1–1 draw.[28][29][30]


Dan Palami, businessman and sports patron, was appointed as team manager of the national team in 2009 by the Philippine Football Federation. The national team still receive minimal support from the government. Palami made financial investments to the team using his own personal money. Since taking responsibility over the national team, he has envisioned a plan named Project 100, which plans to make the team among the top 100 national teams in the world in terms of FIFA rankings. More foreign-born Filipinos were called up to play for the national squad.[27]

The Philippines failed to qualify for any major competition in 2008. They missed out on the 2008 AFC Challenge Cup only on goal difference,[25] and the 2008 AFF Suzuki Cup with an inferior goals scored record.[26]

The Philippines eventually failed to reach their target, only getting a draw in three matches. Their poor performances led to Caslib's resignation,[21] as well as the refusal of the PFF to register and enter the qualification stages for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.[22] They would be one of four nations, all from Southeast Asia not to enter after a record number of entries.[23] However it was revealed that the decision not to enter the 2010 as well as the 2006 World Cup qualification was made during the PFF presidency of Rene Adad, whose term ended in 2003.[22] Instead, the PFF wanted to focus on domestic and regional competitions.[24]

In September 2006, the country fell to 195th on the FIFA World Rankings, its lowest ever.[16] By the end of the year, the Philippines moved back up to 171st overall, after a good run in the 2007 ASEAN Football Championship qualification.[17] They were able to win three games in a row which was a first for the Philippines and thus qualifying for the 2007 ASEAN Football Championship.[18] Coach at that time Aris Caslib, aimed to reach the semifinals with two wins at the group stage.[19] The decision came despite Philippine Football Federation president Juan Miguel Romualdez stating that they would still be underdogs in the tournament and that they mustn't raise their expectations too high,[17] as the Philippines have only won their first ever win of the tournament during the 2004 edition.[20]


The national team under German head coach, Eckhard Krautzun finished fourth overall at the 1991 Southeast Asian Games, its best ever finish at the tournament. The Philippines dealt a 1–0 defeat to defending champions Malaysia at the tournament which knocked out the latter out of the tournament at just the group stage. Norman Fegidero scored the sole goal for the Philippines.[12][14][15]

In 1971, head coach Juan Cutillas recruited five foreign players to play for the national team; four Spaniards and one Chinese. The national team joined several international competitions such as the Merdeka Tournament, Jakarta Anniversary Tournament and the President Park Tournament. The team caused some upset results against the national teams of Thailand, Singapore and South Korea. The national team saw another decline after the four Spanish players left the team due to financial reasons and basketball gains more foothold over football in the country.[13]

In the early sixties, the Philippine Football Association partnered with the San Miguel Corporation to seek foreign assistance to train local football players and coaches and to develop the sport in the country. Coaches from the United Kingdom, Alan Rogers and Brian Birch. After the two were relieved, Danny McClellan and Graham Adams continued their task. In 1961, San Miguel through the national football association bought in four medical students from Spain who were expert in football — Francisco Escarte, Enrique dela Mata, Claudio Sanchez and Juan Cutillas. Escarte and dela Mata left the country after one year.[13]

The national team suffered defeats with big margins at the 1962 Asian Games in Jakarta.[10] This includes the national team's record 15–1 defeat to Malaysia, which became the worst defeat of the national team at that time. The record was later broken by the 15–0 lose to Japan in 1967 at the qualifiers for the 1968 Summer Olympics. Foreigners were hired to serve as head coaches for the national team in an attempt to reduce big margin loses. Englishman, Allan Rogers was hired following the record defeat to Malaysia and Spaniard Juan Cutillas was likewise tasked to lead the national team following the record defeat to Japan.[12]


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