House OKs AFC Cup record striker Marañon PH citizenship bill 2nd reading

United City FC's Spanish star Bienvenido Marañon inches closer to acquiring his Philippine citizenship.

United City FC's Spanish striker Bienvenido Marañon is one step away from hurdling the House of Representatives in his legal journey to becoming a full-fledged Filipino.

House Bill (HB) 8631, which will grant Marañon a Filipino citizenship, passed the 2nd reading in the lower chamber on Wednesday, February 10.

The 3rd and final reading will likely be tackled next week, and the four-time Philippines Football League (PFL) champion will need a nod from the Senate side before getting naturalized.

Manila 1st district Representative Manny Lopez authored Marañon's bill last August 19, while Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri filed Senate Bill No. 1391 with the hopes of seeing the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup record goal scorer representing the Philippine Azkals.

The 34-year-old footballer is the regional cup tournament's all-time leading goalscorer with 35 goals after he scored a brace in the defunct Ceres-Negros FC's 4-0 win over Bali United on March 11, 2020.

He surpassed Jordanian Mahmoud Shelbaieh's record of 34 goals in the AFC Cup.

Hailing from Cadiz City in Spain, Marañon helped propel Ceres, which has now rebranded to United City FC, to 4 PFL titles together with Azkals star Stephan Schrock.

With his naturalization, Filipino fans will be able to see both Schrock and Marañon form a lethal tandem on the Azkals' frontline.

After a four-peat PFL title romp, United City FC will be representing the Philippines in the AFC Champions League group stage for the first time in the country's football history. –

Originally published by Rappler

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