KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 20 ― Malaysia is about to have its first ever under-18 skilled footballer within the Belgian League after Belgium membership KV Kortrjik agreed to signal him on a five-year deal.
Membership proprietor Tan Sri Vincent Tan mentioned the Kelantan-born Luqman Hakim Shamsuddin will begin coaching with Cardiff Metropolis FC within the UK, come January subsequent yr earlier than signing on as the primary ever skilled Malaysian participant within the Europe High Division upon reaching 18 years outdated subsequent March.
“I feel he (Luqman) might make it. His coronary heart is in the proper place. He must be working onerous. Every thing is on him now,” he instructed a press convention in Kuala Lumpur this morning.
The Union of European Soccer Associations (Uefa) ranked the Belgian Professional League because the 10th finest league in Europe.
Luqman is a product of Ministry of Youths and Sports activities’ personal Nationwide Soccer Growth Programme (NFDP) since 2014 and was generally known as a prolific scorer with an abundance of expertise.
Tan is the proprietor of each Cardiff FC and KV Kortrjik in addition to one other membership in Bosnia.
Requested why he picked Luqman amongst different gamers within the nation, Tan mentioned that the striker brings outcomes and has what it takes to outlive.
“He scores targets. He has method expertise and the center. However all the things is as much as him now. I hope he works onerous.
“He is aware of that we’re behind him, I’ve requested the administration to take care of him,” he mentioned.
In the meantime, Youth and Sports activities Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, who was additionally current on the press convention, mentioned if Luqman succeeds, he would pave the way in which for extra Malaysian gamers, particularly from NFDP to ply their commerce in Europe and assist carry Malaysia’s soccer rankings.
“Right now has develop into a benchmark to different gamers, particularly his brothers in NFDP to spur them and show that they too have an opportunity to ply their commerce in Europe,” he mentioned.
Syed Saddiq additionally in contrast Luqman to his Malaysia Below-19 striker 19-year-old Hadi Fayyadh Abdul Razak who be part of Fagiano Okayama in Japanese J-2 League which opened doorways for seven extra younger Malaysian gamers who’re present process trial within the nation this season.
Luqman seemed nervous when approached by reporters however mentioned he would do his finest to make finest use of this chance, as enjoying soccer in Europe has all the time been his dream.
“I’ve to arrange myself mentally and bodily to be there. In fact I’ll do my finest. It’s my dream. I’ll seize it,” he instructed reporters after the occasion.
Though soccer is the primary sport in Malaysia, the senior crew solely ranks 158 out of 211 Worldwide Soccer Federation (Fifa) international locations.
To realize work permits to play in the UK and the illustrious English League, a footballer should come from a rustic that has a Fifa rating of 70 and above.
There are a number of Malaysian gamers who’ve performed in Europe earlier than however by no means on the high division of the nation’s league.
In 1987, former NFDP coach Lim Teong Kim performed for a season with Hertha Berlin SC within the third division of the German Bundesliga.
In 2001, Striker Rudie Ramli and Midfielder Fazli Shaari signed a yr contract with one other third division aspect in German, SV Wehen however left after 5 months.
The longest Malaysian-born participant to play in Europe was Titus James Palani, a graduate of the celebrated Le Harve soccer academy and at the moment performs with French third division aspect, CS Meaux.
Titus, now an EU everlasting resident has by no means represented Malaysia in senior soccer however spent virtually twenty years in France enjoying with Nanteuil SC, FC Villenoy and Normandy within the decrease tier of French membership soccer.
In the meantime, present Johor Darul Takzim (JDT) midfielder Nazmi Faiz was recruited when he was 16 by Portugese second division aspect Beira-Mar in 2012 however left after six months.