Have you heard of Mohd Faiz Subri?
This footballer from Malaysia just propelled Malaysian football to the world stage by grabbing the FIFA Puskas award for goal of the year at the 2016 FIFA Football Awards in Zurich, Switzerland, on 9 January, 2017.
He became the first Asian player to claim the glorious prize, and would rub shoulders with the international football stars like Cristiano Ronaldo and Sir Alex Ferguson.
You may not be familiar with his name, but football fans might have seen his winning goal video online when it went viral last year. Here are five facts about Faiz which avid football fans should get to know.
His winning goal garnered millions of views worldwide
You have to watch Faiz’s winning goal yourself if you haven’t seen it to be totally wowed by his physics-defying free kick in a Malaysia Super League game last February. The video of his goal went crazy viral on social media channels like Facebook and YouTube, captivating viewers from around the world.
Faiz scored two goals in the match where he delivered his award-winning goal
Faiz’s award-winning goal was the second goal he scored in Penang’s 4-1 victory over Pahang on 16 February, 2016. Faiz plays as an attacking midfielder for Malaysia Super League club Penang FA.
Faiz was originally from Kedah
Faiz was born and raised in Ayer Hitam, Kedah. He is the third of five siblings. He receives early education at Sekolah Kebangsaan Tengku Laksamana and continued his study at Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Permatang Bonglai before transferring to Sekolah Menengah Teknik Arau in Perlis.
He played for the Kedah youth squad from 2006 to 2009, switching to play for Perlis club side KSK Tambun Tulang in the 2009 FAM Cup league, and also represented Perlis in Piala Emas Raja-Raja 2009. He moved to play with Perlis in early 2010.
Faiz subsequently signed one-year contract with T-Team in 2012 season. In 2013, Faiz left T-Team and signed a contract with Malaysia Super League top club, Kelantan. A year later he joined Terengganu FA, and in 2015 he changed clubs again as he dropped a division to join Penang FA.
Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim, the Crown Prince of Johor is a fan of Faiz
Faiz has over 75,000 fans on his Instagram and has a large fanbase in Malaysia. When rallying for votes for the Puskas award, even the Crown Prince of Johor, a football fanatic, chipped in his effort for Faiz:
Sembah takzim dan menjunjung kasih Penaung PFA Malaysia, DYAM Brigadier Jeneral Tunku Ismail Ibni Sultan Ibrahim, Tunku Mahkota Johor atas perkenan baginda memberi kurniaan diatas kejayaan saya tersenarai dalam kelompok tiga terbaik untuk Anugerah FIFA Puskas. Sesungguhnya, kurniaan ini amat besar maknanya dan pastinya akan menjadi pendorong kepada saya untuk terus berusaha dengan lebih gigih demi kemajuan diri dan pasukan yang saya wakili. Menjadi impian semua pemain untuk memartabatkan nama negara di seluruh dunia, dan doa saya agar bolasepak kita akan berada di tahap yang tertinggi suatu hari nanti. Setinggi-tinggi kasih atas kurnia dan keprihatinan, semoga Tunku terus mendapat keberkatan dan kerahmatan daripada Allah SWT. FS-13 Penang FA #rezekiallah#fs13
Faiz was recalled to the Malaysia national team in 2015
Faiz was first called up to the Malaysia national football team in 2012 and 2013 under K. Rajagopal, but he never made any appearance in either call-ups. After strong performance in 2015 with his team Penang FA, he was recalled to the national team in August 2015 under coach Dollah Salleh.
At the award ceremony last night, Faiz looked sharp, dressed in a black tuxedo and a neat bow tie.
“Honestly, it never crossed my mind that I would be able to stand here for the best, world-class goal of 2016,” said Faiz in his acceptance speech.
“I would like to thank the Penang Football Association, the Professional Footballers Association Malaysia, FAM, my family, my father, my mother, and everyone who voted for me.”
Way to go Faiz!
Thanks for putting Asian football on the world stage!