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Lucena, Mulders call full time on respective Azkals careers

Jerry Lucena, along with Paul Mulders, are set to call it an Azkals career. (file photo)
By Kevin Estrada

MANILA--The final whistle beckons for Jerry Lucena and Paul Mulders as both the 35-year-old veterans called time on their international careers with the Philippines.

Lucena's club Esbjerg in Denmark confirmed on its website that he will hang up his boots at the end of the season both for them and for the Azkals despite being selected in the training camp for the last two matches of the World Cup Qualification this month.

Formerly capped by Denmark in the U21 and the League XI level, the sweeper debuted for the Azkals four years ago in Myanmar in a AFC Challenge Cup Qualifier along with Dennis Cagara whilst plying his game in the domestic level by AGF Aarhus.

He played 38 matches for the Azkals, scoring twice against Maldives on two seperate occations, most recently in a friendly last year. Lucena picked up a runner-up medal in the final Challenge Cup in 2014 and took part in two Suzuki Cup semifinals and won the Peace Cup in 2013.

Also retiring from the Azkals is Paul Mulders, with the announcement confirmed by team manager Dan Palami.

The former Ajax youth product had debuted for the Azkals in a World Cup Qualifier in June 2011 away at Sri Lanka but played out of position at left back.

However, it was in a friendly against Nepal four months later that he played his best at attacking midfield, assisting Phil Younghusband for the opening goal that lead to the 4-0 win for the Azkals.

Mulders, now with reigning UFL champion Ceres, appeared for 36 times for the Azkals, scoring twice in both losing efforts to Thailand and Vietnam in the last two editions of the ASEAN Championships respectively.

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