Having moved from Spain to Southeast Asia, it is no wonder that Javier Patino holds his family and loved ones close to his heart, with them being on different continents.
This is reflected in the gesture he makes when he celebrates every goal he scores: two fingers on his left hand held up to the sky for his parents, and his right palm touching his chest to signify that every successful strike is scored with his heart, as well as for his girlfriend.
The former Cordoba CF striker joined Buriram United earlier this March and made an instant impact for the Thai Premier League club by scoring twice on his debut. Patino has netted a further five times since then, bringing his tally to seven goals in six league games. That has endeared him to supporters, who have nicknamed him “Pati-goal”.
Patino also had an equally prolific start to his international career, bagging a brace on his Philippines debut as they thrashed Cambodia 8-0 in a qualifier for the 2014 AFC Challenge Cup in March. He obtained his citizenship just in time for the tournament, having applied in January after the Azkals found out he was eligible through his Filipina mother.
Despite being in a foreign environment, the 25-year-old says that he has not had much difficulty in adapting to life in Thailand.
“I have lot of good friends [here] and they help me a lot,” Patino explained. “Buriram is my new big family."