Mohamad Aidil Abd Radzak , Safiq Rahim and Sharbinee Allawee - new heroes of Malaysia.
When I was nine or ten years old, I was chosen to present a bouquet of flowers to the Sultanah at the beginning of a football game held at stadium Darul Makmur, Pahang. That was one of my earliest memories on watching a football game at the stadium.. Since then, I was an ardent fan of my state's football team especially in the 70s and 80s. On the national side, Mohktar Dahari, Jamal Nasir, Santokh Singh, Soh Chin Aun were our heroes then.
Father and I shared bonding moments during the World Cup. In fact, my greatest memories of office camaraderie was during the World Cup seasons as well. And I turned to football and volleyball to encourage staff productivity, interaction and bonding in the nineties.
I remember the days of Kevin Keegan, Gary Lineker. And when Rooney burst onto the scene at the Euro Cup 2006, I took notice. And I harbored a puppy love fascination for Christiano Ronaldo. Respect for Lionel Messi.
But sadly, for a long long time, I took no notice of the Malaysian team any longer. It was depressing to a certain extent with embarassing defeats being the order of the day. But then K Rajagobal, who made Kelantan feverish on football, came on to the scene. In July 2009, Datuk K. Rajagobal was named the new coach of Malaysia replacing B. Sathianathan as head coach of Malaysia. While he was coach of the Under-23 team, K. Rajagobal led Malaysia to their fifth SEA Games gold medal and also led Malaysia to qualify for the second round of the 2010 Asian Games. Good times were set to roll.
Malaysia became the champions of the 2010 AFF Suzuki Cup for the first time under Datuk K. Rajagobal.
Tonight we saw world class saves and goals from Malaysia. Sure, we lost to Taiwan. But three penalties to Taiwan - one dubious, I would say? And one brilliant penalty save by Sharbinee makes Malaysia the winners tonight.
And we march on...see you, Singapore at the end of the month.
If I could turn back the clock
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