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A Day In The Life Of The Azkals Philippine Team

See your favorite football team on the road, on the field, and making time for fans.

They were the underdogs for quite some time, but even underdogs can bite! The Philippine National Football Team—appropriately nicknamed Azkals—have proven that they can bring power to the field, and can bring football into the Filipino fans' consciousness. Their soccer skills put them on the map in the international football arena, while their gorgeous bodies and drool-worthy smiles have landed them on billboards and centerfolds. Think brothers James and Phil Younghusband, Anton del Rosario, and Jason de Jong, to name a few.

Everyone's buzzing, blogging, tweeting, liking, and sighing over this smoldering team, but we don't mind one bit, do we ladies? Our favorite brothers, the Younghusbands, and the rest of the pack make for a sight to behold every time.

Officially (by FIFA, the international governing body of football), they compete under the acronym PHI. Though, for a while, they were known as the RP (for Republika ng Pilipinas), until 2010 when it was changed to PHL. Local press has called them the "PHL Booters," the "Tri-Stars" (reference to our flag), and most recently, the "Azkals."

Despite criticism during the semi-finals of the 2010 AFF Suzuki Cup, the most popular nickname--translating to street or stray dogs--has caught on. Frankly, we don't care what you call them! Ripped and a little rough on the edges (just how we like 'em), any Filipina would be more than happy to call one of these "strays" her own!

In 2010, the new breed of Filipino football players began to make history as they qualified for the AFF Suzuki Cup, where they stayed undefeated in the group stage, and then beat defending champions Vietnam. In 2011, they qualified for the prestigious AFC Challenge Cup. Even FIFA took notice of the Azkals, as, a day before their highly anticipated match against Mongolia, they were featured on the front page of fifa.com, sharing the space with football giants Italy, Germany, France, and England.

The dreamy team has been touring the country and bringing much-needed awareness to the public about their sport (which was, for the longest time, overshadowed by our love for basketball). While they were in Baguio for some high-altitude training in February, they spent time with fans at Brent International School.

While the Younghusbands weren't in Baguio when Cosmo visited the cool city to watch the Azkals practice for their impending Mongolia match at that time (we did catch them in Manila for the Fun Fearless Males shoot and interview!), we did spot other Azkals hotties like Aly Borromeo, Yannick Tuason, Kristopher Relucio, and Christopher Camcam making fans scream in delight (and fangirls swoon) during the practice match with Brent.

Check out the gallery to see your favorite smokin' players on the field and with their fans!


With reports from Pranz Billones

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