PETALING JAYA: Talismanic midfielder Baddrol Bakhtiar hopes to be crowned as the best midfielder in the National Football Awards, which will be held virtually today.
The 33-year-old veteran, who recently joined Sabah from his boyhood club Kedah, said the award would be an impetus for him to excel with the national team in the AFF Suzuki Cup kicking off in Singapore tomorrow.
The Harimau Malaya begin their campaign against Cambo-dia at the Bishan Stadium on Monday.
Baddrol also wants to end a four-year wait for the award, as he last won it in 2017.
But he knows he faces stiff competition from two top midfielders from Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) – Natxo Insa and Afiq Fazail. JDT’s Safawi Rasid won the award last year.
“I miss holding the award... the last time was four years ago. I hope I’m lucky this time around. But the ones nominated are top players,” he said.
“So the competition is tough but I personally hope I can win this award because it will motivate me to do well with the national team and also Sabah next season.”
Based on statistics, Baddrol deserves the award, especially after his performance in the Super League.
He helped Kedah finish second to qualify for the AFC Cup.
Plus, he was the top local goalscorer in the league with seven goals.
As for Natxo and Afiq, they helped JDT win their eighth consecutive Super League title and stood out in the middle of the field with their commading presence and high work rate.