Don't block the limelight

Faiz received the FIFA Puskas Aaward trophy from none other than legendary Brazilian striker Ronaldo. - AFP

The world is in awe with Mohd Faiz Subri's award-winning goal but some Malaysians tried to take the shine off his achievement.

"The winner of the FIFA Puskas Award is… Mohd Faiz Subri!"

When Brazilian legend Ronaldo announced Faiz as the winner, I almost screamed out loud.

If I wanted to scream in joy, imagine the myriad of emotions that Faiz went through. The world had just chosen his effort as the best in the world, and it was hardly surprising nerves got the better of him.

As a Malaysian, I couldn't care less about his appearance, train of thought or presence – I just wanted to celebrate his success. Whatever he did on the stage was secondary. Yet, there are some who want to "cash in" on his success.

I'm sure some may have heard the "ka ching, ka ching" sound when he gave his speech. Suddenly, you will hear the "descendants of Shakespeare" or "saviours of Malaysian football" giving their two cents about their "asset".

But as a friend once said: "They love to offer their judgement on an issue, without realising that their view is of no consequence to anyone."

Faiz is a humble athlete playing the game he loves the most. Proficiency in English may not a requirement in his profession, but he need not place too much importance on it as his feet does all the talking.

He has done the country proud and he made the effort to deliver his acceptance speech in English. To those who questioned why he didn't speak in Malay, maybe you can send a petition to FIFA to allow winners to speak in their mother tongue.

Many sporting superstars like Fernando Alonso, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Luis Figo were unable to speak good English during their early years of fame.

Did the Spanish, Austrians and Portugese criticise them like how some Malaysians did against Faiz for his English?

Ironically, when Air Asia co-founder Tan Sri Tony Fernandes admitted that he did not speak Malay, nothing was said against him despite the fact that Malay is the national language.

A certain columnist wrote that Faiz's on-stage antics were embarrassing.

I don't know about other Malaysians but if you ask me, it was a moment that I would tell my children or grandchildren in the future.

I would tell them that this man fulfilled his childhood dream. His world was in awe with his impossible goal and his humility captured the hearts of many Malaysians.

Ignore what the world says. Just believe in yourself and keep working towards your goals. Faiz at one point wanted to quit the game but his father pushed him to achieve his dream. Just be yourself and don't let people put your down.

As for Faiz, he is back to doing what he loves, which is playing football. After his return from the awards ceremony on Jan 11, he went for training the very next day.

It shows how dedicated Faiz is and I would like to quote former Perak coach Syamsul Saad who spoke about his goal and his dedication towards training.

"No, no, no. There is no element of luck. I know Faiz Subri well. The technique he used that day, it was his intention to score such a goal. He trains very hard to perfect these set pieces.

"Players these days take advantage of the ball, which are lighter and favours players who fancy set-pieces or long shots. I have seen him and he trains on set pieces all the time," he said.

Who knows, he might score another wonder goal and put himself in contention for the 2017 FIFA Puskas Award.

Let's stop being judgemental and try to steal the limelight from him. Faiz's goal was amazing and the world will continue speaking about it in years to come. We should be proud that a Malaysian lad has made a presence in world football.

Action speaks louder than words and Faiz has just done that!

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