About the Philippine National Football Team – the Azkals
The foundation of the local football association, the Philippine Football Federation was in 1907, but the first ever recorded game of the national team was a friendly game against China in 1913.
The highest FIFA ranking of the men’s football team is 115 as of May 2016, and its lowest FIFA rank was 216 during December 2004.
The Moniker – “Azkals”
The name Azkals was coined when one forum member at the now defunct PinoySoccer.com started a poll about naming the Philippine Football Team. Most national teams all around the world have their own moniker.
I myself suggested “agila” because of the Philippine eagle as our national bird, but this was quickly set aside by many members.
After a series of arguments and suggestions, the “azkals” was the landslide winner. Though, the chosen moniker was actually a derivative from another derivative which was “askal”, then from the most original word “Calle Azul” (Blue Street), a street name in the Philippines. That year was 2006.
Askal is a Tagalog idiom for “street dog”, which is a combination of two words – aso (dog) and kalye (street). An askal generally, has no master, no support, fends for himself, just pure survival. That was then, similarly the plight of the men’s national football team, even including our other national football teams.
Initially, the chosen nickname “Azkals” was hard for me to accept, but I had to swallow my pride, after all it was a consensus by the fans in the forum.
I was thinking forward. I register the domain name Azkals.com a few days after the poll results. I let the domain parked for 3 years until 2009, I put up a website forum after Pinoysoccer and Philfootball.info folded up.