‘I want to stay longer’


Victors again: JDT’s Safawi Rasid (centre) is challenged by Sabah’s Park Tae-su (left) and goalkeeper Rozaimie Rohim during their Super League match. — Bernama

PETALING JAYA: National team striker Safawi Rasid wants to prove his worth by extending his career in Europe as long as possible.

The Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) star has a one-season contract with the Primeira Liga side – Portimonense SC in Portugal – but he aims to make the short stint a stepping stone for greater success in Europe.

His first plan is to break into the club’s starting XI and improve further as a footballer.

“I see this stint as a chance of a lifetime for me improve, ” said Safawi before leaving on Saturday night.

“I’m not good enough yet. I don’t know whether my stay in Portugal will be extended or not but I want to learn as much as possible from this experience which can’t be bought.

“My first target is to fight for a spot in the first XI with my club.”

He will undergo a 14-day quarantine before making his official appearance with Portimonense.

To underline his determination, the 23-year-old has even chucked aside the practice of bringing Malaysian food for overseas stints.

He wants to fully immerse himself with the professional football lifestyle in Portugal.

“I didn’t bring any Malaysian food. I need to adapt to the European food and also, the physical aspect of the game there.

“I only have one season so I really need to fit in fast with the life there.

“I will have a personal assistant and my agent to help me settle down there.

“If it’s my rezeki (blessing), some big clubs may sign me up and I might stay in Europe longer.”

Safawi admitted that he was saddened to leave JDT after helping them win their seventh straight Super League title on Saturday.

Safawi had scored 47 goals in 101 appearances with the Southern Tigers in all local and international competitions since joining them from T-Team in Terengganu in 2017.

“I’m leaving JDT with a heavy heart after four years, I’ve had a lot of sweet memories with them, ” he said.

“I have to admit that I don’t know much about Portimonense because I was just focused on helping JDT win the Super League.

“Now, I want to make my name in the world, I want to make Malaysia proud.

“I want to improve my game and bring something from there to the national team, ” he added.

Portimonense are currently placed 15th spot in the 18-team Portuguese Primeira League after a draw and a loss in the first two matches of the 2020-2021 season which began last month.

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