Dollah Salleh feels that naturalised players will help strengthen the national side. The Gaffer, however, thinks we should stick with local players and push them to do well in the international arena.
IMAGINE Brazilians, Nigerians or Argentineans saying, “Wei, pass bola kat sini lah … Buat ape nak pi solo? (Pass the ball here…Why are you going on your own?) to our local players … in an international football match!
The man, who previously coached Selangor MPPJ, Pahang and Selangor says he might be selecting naturalised players for tournaments and friendlies in the near future.
Many initially rejected the idea but since Dollah lamented about Malaysia’s inability to produce top quality forwards, there have been murmurs with regard to naturalising foreign players to strengthen the national team.
Two days ago, Oman 6-0 thrashed our national team in a one-sided affair at Al-Seeb Stadium. Now, there are more calls for FAM to revamp its structure and some fans are echoing what Dollah’s view.
“We must look at what is available in the country first, and choose our locals first, not taking naturalised players just to fill quota.
Fair enough, but in a way, he is suggesting that FAM is open to the idea of having naturalised players in the national team.
Of course, this will be music to Dollah’s ears. And he will surely be thinking of selecting Paulo Rangel and Dickson Nwakaeme if they are given Malaysian citizenship.
Inter Milan coach Roberto Mancini was one dead against the idea of selecting naturalised players.
The former Juventus coach also added that of the 736 players at the 2014 World Cup, 83 were naturalised.
The problem to me is: We have lots of gifted players whose talents seem to wane when they go professional because club sides rely on foreigners to boost their fortunes in the league.
Players need to push themselves and say they can do better than the foreigners. If that happens, Dollah will have no cause to complain about the quality of our players.
I will always remember this quote from Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin: “With all due respect, playing in the Malaysian league will not help aid their development but to play in the J-League, or play in the competitive leagues in the Middle East, China or even in Europe, that will help them!”
Our players need to move beyond their Jaguh Kampung tags and think big. We need to show the world that we too can produce world-class players and that there is no need to naturalise players.