Phil Younghusband gets raves from Real Madrid coach

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Saturday, January 7, 2012


AZKAL striker Phil Younghusband added another feather to his cap after his former mentor, currently with popular Spanish football club Real Madrid, recently praised his talent and passion for the sport.

“Phil was a talented player with potential who worked hard in search of a dream. In part, I helped him reach that dream by giving him his debut game with the Chelsea first team. I wish him all the best,” Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho said.

Mourinho was Chelsea manager from 2005 to 2008 as Phil and his brother James spent their formative years in football with the English club.

Phil’s contract as a Chelsea reserve also expired in 2008 as he went on to play for the Philippine national team.

Last year, the 24-year-old British-born player recalled how serious Mourinho was as a tactician.

“Before games, we used to receive a booklet about a hundred pages thick about the opposition. That’s how detailed he was. He did his research and that made a difference,” he said in a magazine interview.

Mourinho, a former FIFA Coach of the Year, will be on the Philippines this Saturday to witness the charity match between the Azkals and Spanish third-tier club CF Internacional de Madrid.

It was not immediately known, however, if the Younghusbands will be able to meet their former boss, who is now guiding the world’s richest football club that raked in 438.6 million Euros last year.

Meantime, organizers released the final line-up for the match, which is a mixture of Azkal members and standouts from the United Football League (UFL).

Beside the Younghusbands, expected to see action at the Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila are goalkeeper Eduard Sacapaño, left backs Roel Gener and Roxy Dorlas, right backs David Basa, Joebel Bermejo and Martin Doctora, left midfielders Chieffy Caligdong and Misagh Bahadoran, and central midfielders Angel Guirado and Lextoy Moy, among others.

Proceeds of the match will be given to different foundations including the Philippine Red Cross, which will then be used for the recovery and livelihood projects for victims of Tropical Storm Sendong (international name: Washi) in Northeastern Mindanao. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)

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