SPANISH striker Bienve Marañon moved closer in fulfilling his dream to play for the Philippine Azkals after the House Committee on Justice on Wednesday afternoon approved a measure granting him Filipino citizenship.
“I would like to become a Filipino because I love the country and I love the people,” Marañon said during the online hearing.
“I feel too much love from them, and I would like to give them the love I’ve received. I would love to play for the Azkals national team ’cause I feel like I’ve been a Filipino since arrived here. I want to help them reach the World Cup, play in the Asia Cup, and win the Suzuki Cup,” he added.
House Bill No. 7427, which was authored by Manila 1st District Rep. Manny Lopez, was approved and it will now be tackled in the plenary, where it will go through second and third readings.
Lopez’s bill was filed last September 6.
Marañon is currently the all-time leading scorer in the AFC Cup with 35 goals while playing for Ceres-Negros FC.
A native of Cadiz, Spain, Marañon led United City FC to the Philippines Football League championship last month, scoring seven goals in the short tournament.
“In his five-year football career in the Philippines, Marañon has shown exceptional skills complemented by commendable work ethic. He is known as one of the most prolific scorers in Southeast Asia,” Lopez said.
“If granted the opportunity to play for the Philippines, Marañon will undoubtedly be an invaluable asset to the national football team, the Azkals, and bring pride and honor to our country. This will also be an opportunity on the part of Congress to contribute to the Philippines’ success in the global football arena,” he added.
Marañon is also now awaiting for the approval of Senate Bill No. 1391, which was filed earlier this year by Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri.