Mohd Faiz's win a new chapter in Malaysian football history: FAM

KUALA LUMPUR: Penang striker Mohd Faiz Subri's historic win in the Fifa Awards, especially winning the Puskas Award, has marked a new milestone in the country's football history.

Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) secretary-general Datuk Hamidin Mohd Amin when contacted by Bernama said he believed Mohd Faiz's success would inspire other players to strive for excellence at the international arena.

"The win is not just a win for Mohd Faiz but an important achievement for other players to emulate," he said.

Mohd Faiz was awarded the Puskas Award by Fifa and presented by former Brazilian striker Ronaldo at a glittering ceremony in Zurich, Switzerland tonight, a first for Malaysian football and Asian football in general.

The victory also proves that a local player can stand shoulder to shoulder with the best players in the world like Lionel Messi, Neymar and Ronaldo.

"Syabas and congratulations to Mohd Faiz from FAM and fans from the entire country. You (Mohd Faiz) made every Malaysian proud today and put Malaysia on the world sporting map," he said.

The Penang striker's shot at the Puskas Award was courtesy of a spectacular free kick in a Super League match against Pahang on Feb 16 last year, with the ball swerving from an impossible angle into the right corner of the net, leaving a bewildered Pahang goalkeeper - and football fans - in its wake.

The video clip of Mohd Faiz's phenomenal freekick which was first uploaded by FIFATV on YouTube had been viewed over 2.5 million times while the clips of his rivals Johnath Marlone Azevedo da Silva (Brazil) and Venezuela's woman player Daniuska Rodriguez have garnered over one million views.

Since the inception of the Fifa Puskas Award in 2009, only two other Asian players, Kumi Yokoyama and Hisato Sato, both from Japan, have been listed among the top 10 nominees but did not make the cut into the top three finalists in 2010 and 2014 respectively.

The award is named after Hungarian football legend Ferenc Puskas who enjoyed huge success with Real Madrid in the 1950s and 60s as well as the highly successful Hungarian side of the same era.

Portugal's Ronaldo was the first Puskas Award recipient in 2009, followed by Turkey's Hamit Altintop (2010), Neymar from Brazil (2011), Slovakian Miroslav Stoch (2012), Sweden's Zlatan Ibrahimovic (2013) and James Rodriguez from Colombia (2014).

For 2015, an unknown player from Brazil, Wendell Lira, from Club Goianesia took home the award. — Bernama