The long wait is over as United City FC striker Bienvenido Marañon has officially received Filipino citizenship following Malacañang’s approval of his naturalization process.
President Rodrigo Duterte finally signed Republic Act 11570 on Wednesday, putting an end to the 34-year old booter’s quest for Philippine citizenship.
With that, Maranon is now set to make a new era in Philippine football as the first-ever naturalized player for the Philippine Azkals.
“Ako ay Pilipino,” Marañon posted on his social media account.
— Bienve Marañon (@Bienvecadiz86) July 7, 2021
Born in the province of Andaluzia in Spain, Marañon started playing in the Philippines in 2015 for the Ceres Negros FC, which was later renamed as United City FC.
There he formed a lethal duo with Azkals skipper and UCFC midfielder Stephan Schrock and won four championship titles in the Philippines Football League (PFL).
His elite offensive firepower further bolstered in the regional stage when he anchored the Busmen to their AFC Cup Zonal Championship title in 2017, the highest title that any professional Filipino club has achieved ever.
On top of that, he was hailed as the AFC Cup’s all-time top scorer, bagging 35 goals in the prestigious tourney.
So far, Maranon and UCFC are currently competing in the group stage of the prestigious AFC Champions League in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
Marañon is set to take an Oath of Allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines and complete the documentation process before he can finally secure a passport and certificate of naturalization.