On the eve of yesterday’s friendly against Malaysia, Philippine Azkals fans were stunned with the news that goalkeeper Roland Müller has retired from international play.
“Six years ago, I made the first game for the Azkals, a new experience gave me the chance to see a part of my roots. Teammates became like brothers! We lost, fought and won together,” the Filipino-German goalkeeper shared on his Instagram account.
“I had a great time, I was and will be forever proud to played for this beautiful country. I always gave 100 percent!”
At 29 years old, some may say that international retirement came too early for Müller, but the man himself shared that he wants to focus on other things aside from football.
“Hard decision saying ‘goodbye.’ Time to take care of my own family. Thank you to support and for all what you did for me. I will never forget this part of my life and I’m so thankful for this chance!,” his statement furthered.
The Filipino-German goalkeeper first suited up for the Philippines in 2011. The FC Koln youth product eventually made 22 caps and was part of the 2011 South East Asia Games squad. His crowning moment for the Azkals came in the 2014 AFC Challenge Cup, where he was a mainstay of the Azkals lineup that reached the final.
With Muller’s retirement, Azkals coach Thomas Dooley has Walsall goalie Neil Etheridge and Global-Cebu ace Patrick Deyto as his main choices to be the Philippines’ final line of defense.
While Muller never got the fairytale ending he deserved for the Azkals, his contributions will never be forgotten by their fans.
“I will be always an Azkal,” he declared.