KUALA LUMPUR: A Malaysian will be in action in European football after Belgian club KV Kortrijk agreed to sign striker Luqman Hakim Shamsudin on a five-year deal.
KV Kortrijk owner, Berjaya Corporation Berhad founder Tan Sri Vincent Tan, said the club had identified Luqman as a player to be brought to Europe after seeing his performance at a recent national event, in which he scored many goals.
“I’m personally very pleased to be able to bring Luqman to Europe. We will do our best to give the opportunity for Luqman to shine, but in order to make it happen, Luqman will also have to do his part to learn English and also attend training,“ Tan said in his speech at the announcement event today.
Tan, who is also owner of Cardiff City Football Club, said Luqman will begin training with Cardiff City next January. He is set to be signed by KV Kortrijk when he turns 18 in March 2020, and will start his European football career for five years with the club.
“As Malaysians, we must try to help our countrymen if it is possible. This is the first time we think Luqman has a chance to succeed in Europe,“ Tan said.
Born in Kota Baru, Kelantan, Luqman Hakim is one of the pioneer batch of footballers from the Mokhtar Dahari National Football Academy under the National Football Development Programme, which was launched in 2014 to help rejuvenate the development of national football.
Also at the announcement event was Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, who said the signing of Luqman would be the first of many to penetrate the European market.
“I have the opportunity to meet Hadi Fayyadh, who’s currently playing in Japan, and he has become someone respected and admired in Japan due to his work attitude. We hope that the same can be applied to Luqman, and hopefully more players can be brought in to Europe in the near future,“ Syed Saddiq said.