The Philippine national men’s football team saw the departure of another key member after Filipino-Spanish defender Juani Guirado announced his retirement from Azkals duty.
Guirado said that the Azkals’ FIFA World Cup Qualifier match against North Korea on Tuesday will be his last game.
“I made this hard decision a few weeks ago,” Guirado said. “I feel myself still young but my body (is not after) all the international games plus in the club for playing in a very high level.”
Guirado, a member of Ceres-La Salle FC in the United Football League, will be retiring with 34 international caps under his name.
The 36-year-old Guirado suited up four years for the Azkals, joining the team in 2012 a year after his brother, Angel, donned the national team colors.
Guirado made his mark as one of the team’s reliable defenders, with his solid play becoming an anchor of the Azkals backline.
Guirado was the fourth player to retire from the national team this year. Jerry Lucena and Paul Mulders declared earlier this March that they won’t be playing anymore for the Azkals.
The Fil-Danish Lucena and Fil-Dutch Mulders, both 35, represented the Philippines for four years.
Guirado’s partner in the backline, Rob Gier, also 35, announced his retirement last February.