PETALING JAYA: National striker Norshahrul Idlan Talaha just can’t get a break from Malaysian football fans.
The veteran striker, fondly called Mat Yo on his Instagram page, has always been the target of criticism for his perceived languid style of play in the M-League and national team despite being one of the most decorated players.
The Besut local has won the Super League three times with Kelantan (2011 and 2012) and Johor Darul Ta’zim (2014), the FA Cup twice with Pahang (2018) and Kelantan (2012) and the Malaysia Cup with Kelantan (2010 and 2012).
He also won the 2009 SEA Games and the 2010 AFF Suzuki Cup with the national team.
The 33-year-old, was the oldest player in the national team which finished runners-up behind Vietnam in the 2018 Suzuki Cup but still emerged as the top scorer for Malaysia with six goals.
Norshahrul’s heroics didn’t go unnoticed and he was snapped up by Thai Division One side Bangkok Glass (BG) Pathum United for the 2020 season. But even after leaving Malaysia, he could not escape the fans’ vitriol.
Norshahrul was officially unveiled by Pathum United earlier this month and the video of the launch was littered with abuses mocking his physique.
He still went on to make his debut in the Thai League 1, starting in his team’s 2-1 win over Muang Thong United last Saturday.
But another round of attacks on his social media account accusing Norshahrul of moving to Thailand to pursue a lucrative salary which did not match his age and abilities, left the player disconsolate.
Unable to withstand all the allegations, Norshahrul posted a reply on his Instagram account: “To our beloved Malaysians. I am not here (Thailand) because of a lucrative salary. I’m looking for experience. If I wanted a bigger salary, I would have continued playing in Malaysia.”
“You think I’m happy here? I have a huge responsibility on my shoulders here.
“Please give me space, I do not ask to be supported or ridiculed or insulted. Stop this!”
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