The Philippines’ greatest footballers from yesteryear and Germany’s most celebrated former national team players are ready to square off on Saturday at the Rizal Memorial Football stadium.
“We have a good team of first class players packed with international experience,” said German legends coach Eckhard Krautzun. The veteran coach will square off with a team of Pinoys led by former national team coach Aris Caslib.
It is a special game for Krautzun since he was the coach of the Philippines in 1991 when the RP booters, playing at home, reached the semifinals of the SEA Games (it was a senior competition then, not U23). In that tournament the Philippines memorably upset defending champions Malaysia 1-0 in front of a large Rizal Memorial crowd on November 28, 1991, thanks to a goal by Norman Fegidero late in the match.
Krautzun returns to the scene of that glorious moment, as do seven members of that historic team, including Fegidero, Rolando Piñero, Filamer Rosell, and Rudy Del Rosario. Only this time Krautzun will be coaching against his former wards.
“This is as much a reunion as it is a game,” said Caslib, who coached the Philippines for two stints in the last decade.
The match kicks off at 2:30 pm on Saturday, October 18. Admission is free. The game is a celebration of the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
Also present at the press conference in Sofitel on Friday morning were Randy Roxas, the Loyola Meralco Sparks Vice-Chairman and Philippines legends team manager, PFF Secretary-General Edwin Gastanes, Thomas Roy, the football consultant assigned to the PFF by the German Football Federation (DFB), Hans-Georg Moldenhauer, a senior official of the DFB, as well as German players Dieter Burdenski and Guido Buchwald.
Roxas, himself a former national team player, may see action as well on the pitch. Buchwald was part of the side that lifted the FIFA World Cup in 1990.
The Philippines Legends team will wear blue pinstriped throwback uniforms inspired by a national team kit from the mid-nineties. The kit is supplied by LGR.
Presumably due to the age of the players and a willingness to get everyone playing time, the match will be played with unlimited “flying substitutions,” wherein players can go in and out, like in basketball.
The match will take place after a youth 7-a-side tournament in the born 2001 and born 2005 age groups that begins at 9am on the same ground.
The Philippine Football Federation and the DFB have made this match possible with the support of Smart, the German Embassy in the Philippines, and The German Club in Manila. Holly’s Milk is donating milk for the youth players to consume after their tournament as a recovery drink.
Here is the roster for the German team.
COACH: Eckhard Krautzun
Gotz Dr. Dimanski
Eric Von Euen
This is the list of call-ups for the Philippines.
COACH: Ariston Caslib
Armand Del Rosario
Rudy Del Rosario
Alfredo Dioso Jr.
Ali Bernard Go
Ernest Thomas Nierras