"United City confirms departure of striker Bienvenido Marañon"

Originally published by Manila Bulletin Online

Bienvenido Marañon’s decorated club career in the Philippines came to an end Wednesday, Jan. 5 after United City confirmed his departure from the club.

United City made the announcement on its social media account while expressing well-wishes to the naturalized striker who apparently is set for a move to a club overseas.

The Spanish-born Marañon has been in the country since 2015, first for Ceres-Negros being playing the last two years for United City which took over the former’s club license in 2020.

“UCFC would like to congratulate Bienve on his well-deserved career move and thank him for his services to the Club as a decorated player and co-captain,” United City said. “While it’s sad to see him leave at this time, it opens great opportunities for UCFC in preparation for the 2022 season. Good luck!”

Marañon, 35, later tweeted his own goodbye, saying he had nothing but good memories with both Ceres and United City.

“It’s time to move forward and step up in my career as a professional football player,” he said. “I will leave the country where I found happiness and the team (United City) that made me a better player and a better person.

“I’m thankful to (United City president Eric Gottschalk) and the management and also thankful to (Ceres owner Leo Rey Yanson) who was the person who gave me the chance to come to the Philippines almost seven years ago.

Ceres signed Marañon after spending his whole professional career in Spain, including for his hometown club Cadiz.

Marañon was instrumental in leading Ceres to six domestic trophies (one in the United Football League, four in the Philippines Football League and one in the Copa Paulino Alcantara) and six appearances in the AFC Cup.

He became the all-time goalscorer in the continental tournament and was key in making Ceres the ASEAN Zonal winner in 2017, the farthest the club ever reached.

United City signed Marañon following the transfer of ownership from Ceres, leading the club to the 2020 PFL title and a stint in last year’s AFC Champions League.

It also paved the way for Marañon to become a Filipino citizen, resulting in a debut stint for the Philippine Azkals in the AFF Suzuki Cup in Singapore. He shared the top goalscorer award with three players after finding the back of the net four times.

It is unknown where Marañon is headed, but he expressed readiness to play for the “best club of Asia.”

“Can’t wait to travel and start training with them. I will keep working to give you back the love, support and help during my time in the Philippines,” he said.

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