"Malaysian club taps Azkals stars"

Originally published by Daily Tribune Online

National men’s football team standouts Bienvenido Marañon and Carli de Murga open a new chapter in their professional careers as they join powerhouse Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) FC in the Malaysian Super League.

The JDT management made the formal announcement, saying that Marañon and De Murga will be its latest additions heading into its title-retention campaign for the 2022 season in March.

Marañon said he has already joined the team’s training and is now enjoying a smooth transition with his new club.

“I’m very happy here. I’m already training with the team and I can’t wait to start the games,” Marañon said.

It will be a reunion for the two Filipino booters, who played together for Ceres Negros FC from 2015 to 2019.

The 34-year-old Marañon, who is the reigning AFC Cup all-time leading scorer with 35 goals, ended his colorful seven-year stint with Ceres and United City FC in 2015.

He was also the club’s top scorer, netting 71 goals and four Philippines Football League titles.

His impressive resume gave him a strong case for naturalization and eventually granted Filipino citizenship last year.

De Murga, meanwhile, is expected to bolster JDT’s backline following a stellar semi-final campaign with Terengganu FC in the Malaysia Cup.

The two booters had the chance to play together for Azkals in the AFF Suzuki Cup in December, but de Murga begged off due to an injury.

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