The Philippine national football team is now well known for the name “Azkals“. They represent the country in the international football games. The team is being governed by the Philippine Football Federation or PFF. This federation is the governing body of football in the country. Even though the Philippines is one of the oldest national team in Asia, the country never had any luck on the international stage. In fact, the team never qualified for the FIFA World Cup or AFC Asian Cup. The team did achieve some success on the early years of 19193 and 1934 in the Far Eastern Championship Games.
Aside from Azkals (Street Dogs), the past nicknames of the team are PH / PHL Booters, PH / PHL XI and Tri–Stars. The head coach of the team is Michael Weir. The assistant coaches are Edwin Cabalida, Edzel Bracamonte, and Rolando Pinero. The team captain is none other than Alexander Borromeo.
In the FIFA World Cup, the team is known as PHI. The ranking of the team in FIFA is 151. The highest FIFA ranking the Philippine team has gotten is 150 on December 2010. On the other hand, the lowest FIFA ranking is 195 on September 2006.
During September 2006, the country fell on the lowest ranking they have ever gotten in the FIFA World Cup. After a good performance in the 2007 ASEAN Football Championship qualification, the ranking moved back up to 171. The team was able to win three games in a row. This was the first time it ever happened to the team. This is also the reason why they have qualified for the ASEAN Football Championship in 2007. Aris Caslib, who was the coach during that time, aimed to reach the semi-finals. The team has failed to reach this aim because they have only gotten draw in three matches. As a result of this poor performance of the team, Aris Caslib decided to resign. He also refused to enter the qualification stages needed for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. However, it was later that their discovered that during the term of Rene Adad it was decided not to enter international games and instead focus on the domestic games.
Since the year 2007, the Philippine team had not entered into a major competition. In 2010, the team qualified for the 2010 AFF Suzuki Cup. They even went on beating the defending champions, Vietnam. However, the team lost to India on a score of 2-0.
In 2008, the PFF had signed a three year contract with Mizuno to become the official outfitter and supplier of the team. The contract was said to amount to nearly 9 million pesos. The previous outfitter and supplier of the team was Adidas.
In the early years of the Philippine national team, they have played their home matches in Manila Carnival Grounds which later became Rizal Memorial Sports Complex. The other stadiums used were Barotac Nuevo Plaza Field, PhilSports Stadium, Iloilo Sports Complex and Panaad Stadium. The team consists of 24 players.Philippine Azkals - Philippine Football Team,