Craig Foster is one of the most influential people in Australian football.
When will the Philippines find their new Paulino Alcántara? The half-Filipino, half Spanish football hero that set records at FC Barcelona that only Lionel Messi can break.
The Iloilo-born net breaker set goal scoring record in FC Barcelona with 369 goals in 357 games that stood for many years before he was overtaken by Leonel Messi on 16 March 2014.
His record as the youngest player to ever score for FC Barcelona in an official match at the age of 15 is still yet to be broken.
With the influx of half Filipinos in the Philippine National teams, and the newly formed Profesional Football League (PFL), there is a feeling that Alcántara will be found. However, the truth is that the new Alcantara will not be found abroad.
At this period of time, world-class Filipinos playing abroad will surely not be ready to represent the motherland because of the competitive edge and of course the financial reward they will have playing oversea.
David Alaba, for example, is a world-class player currently playing for Bayern Munich and Austria National Team. He holds Austria’s record as the youngest player to play for their senior national team, debuting for them in 2009 as a 17-year-old. His mother is a Filipina while his father is a Nigerian.
The Philippines for sure will find the new Alcantara at home as football authorities have started to pay more attention to youth development.
The two summer youth football leagues (YFL and NCR) are over but were there new possible Alcántara scouted for the country’s development center during this period?
I read on Four Four Two about Shane Clemente, a young talented Filipino footballer who has already experienced Wembley and Old Trafford at the age of 12 saying:
“I want to play at FC Barcelona because that’s where Alcantara played” ” “He was known for breaking the net and I’m going to be known for breaking the net and the goalpost”.
This is one of the many talented young players at home that should be in the development center under the watchful eye of the Philippines Football Federation and I look forward to meeting this young talent to discuss how far he has gone with his football development.