Bienvenido Marañon finally cleared the tedious naturalization process and will soon see action with the Philippine Azkals.
President Rodrigo Duterte signed the bill granting the United City FC striker a Philippine citizenship on Wednesday, July 7.
Marañon, who is currently competing in the 2021 AFC Champions League with United City, is set to take the Oath of Allegiance and will need to formalize his naturalization with FIFA before being able to represent the senior national team.
The 34-year-old footballer is the regional cup tournament’s all-time leading goalscorer with 35 goals after he scored a brace in the defunct Ceres-Negros FC’s 4-0 win over Bali United on March 11, 2020.
He surpassed Jordanian Mahmoud Shelbaieh’s record of 34 goals in the AFC Cup.
Hailing from Cadiz City in Spain, Marañon helped propel Ceres, which has now rebranded to United City FC, to four PFL titles together with Azkals star Stephan Schrock.
As a naturalized Filipino, fans can now see both Schrock and Marañon form a lethal tandem on the Azkals’ frontline.
United City FC is currently sitting at the bottom of Group I with one point in the 2021 AFC Champions League. – Rappler.com