WHATEVER happens in Zurich, Switzerland, on Monday (Tuesday morning here), all Malaysians can be proud of Mohd Faiz Subri.
After all, the Penangite has already made the world stand up and take notice of Malaysian football when his wonder goal – one that defies physics (as far as I’m concerned although I did flunk my physics test) – ensured he made the final three-player shortlist for the Puskas Award for best goal of the year.
Faiz – who scored the goal in the 4-1 win over Pahang in a Super League match at the City Stadium in Penang on Feb 16, last year – is up against Brazilian Jonath Marlone Azevedo da Silva and Venezuela’s Daniuska Rodriguez for the Puskas Award.
The winner will be announced at the FIFA Football Awards in Zurich tomorrow (live on Astro, Channel 811/814, 1.30am Tuesday).
Whether he wins or not, Faiz can walk with his head held high, despite the fact that he hasn’t come anywhere near to re-producing that majestic strike.
Neither has he played much since that wonder goal – no thanks to injuries and a dip in form.
He did play in a pre-season friendly for Penang against Felcra FC at the City Stadium in George Town on Friday.
But that should not take the gloss off his amazing feat, which some have labelled a fluke, a freak and what not.
Just ignore them.
Yes, his goal certainly had an element of luck to it. But that’s just it. Every goal has an element of luck to it.
Ask any footballer – whether a pro or an amateur – and he will attest to it. Sometimes a player can miss just inches from the goal-line! I’ve done it before, so I should know!
But, seriously, even the best players have missed the target when it’s easier to score.
Another reason why Faiz’s feat should be feted is that it has – albeit temporarily - taken the gloom off the dire state of affairs in Malaysian football.
Then again, the less said about Malaysian football the better!
So, back to Faiz’s achievement. It would be a momentous occasion should he be announced as the winner as we all watch the event live on television.
After all, with the state the Malaysian football is in, I wonder when we will ever see another Malaysian footballer sharing the same stage as the likes of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Cristiano Ronaldo.
So, let’s enjoy the moment and cherish it. You never know how long you have to wait for another Malaysian to grace the stage.
> A few weeks before the 2016-2017 English Premier League season began, I asked a friend to place a £10 (RM55) bet with Paddy Power in London on Chelsea winning the title.
Instead, he put my money on Liverpool.
He thought he had heard me wrongly since he knows that I’m a die-hard Reds fan.
I don’t blame him, though.
But, let’s face it, Chelsea are likely to prove me right judging by how they have blown the rest away in the league thus far.
The Blues under-performed, for whatever reason, last season under Jose Mourinho.
Under Antonio Conte, they are back at their best. Scoring goals for fun and running teams ragged.
Luckily for me Tottenham Hotspur reeled them in with a convincing 2-0 win last weekend.
Instead of going eight points ahead of Liverpool, they are now just five points away. That’s not too bad, right?
So maybe, just maybe, I could be in for a small windfall come end of the season!
Sports Editor R. Manogaran is still backing Juergen Klopp to revive Liverpool’s fortunes. He just needs time – and funds – to do it. YNWA!