|By Khalis Rifhan
Philippines welcomed a new addition to their national team as Spanish-based player Javier Patino flew into the country on Tuesday evening.
Patino’s club in Spain, Cordoba CF, granted leave for the striker to return to his mother’s country of birth to apply for a Philippines passport.
The striker, who has scored 11 goals in 62 appearances for Cordoba since joining the club in 2011, will head back to Spain after the application as his club is scheduled to take on Club Deportivo Lugo in the league on February 4.
Speaking about the new offensive addition to the team, coach Michael Weiss told Interaksyon: “That gives us strong options of physically top players who can fit in anytime for our team. If we need them, and I think we need them, (it will take the team) to the next higher level.”
Patino was born in Madrid and first played for amateur side Alcobendas CF in the regional Prefente League in 2007.
He then made the switch to third-tier Segunda Division B team SS Reyes a year later before he was snapped up by Cordoba.
Also on the Azkals' radar is Adelaide United midfielder Iain Ramsay, who is eligible to play for the Philippines through his mother.
Although Ramsay had previously indicated his interest to play for the Australian national team, he did not rule out turning out for the South-East Asian nation if he failed to get a call-up to the Socceroos.