Malaysian soccer fans were elated yesterday to wake up to the news that their countryman had won the FIFA Goal of the Year award for his extraordinary swerving free-kick.
Midfielder Mohamad Faiz Subri’s cracker for Penang in the Malaysian Super League in February, reminiscent of the swerving thunderbolt by Brazil’s Roberto Carlos against France in 1997, received almost 60 percent of the global vote on the FIFA Web site.
Dressed in a tuxedo, the player thanked his coach, team and his family as he accepted the accolade at the star-studded FIFA awards ceremony in Zurich, Switzerland, on Monday night, the first Asian to win the Puskas Award.
“Honestly, it never crossed my mind that I would arrive at this level and be able to stand tall among world class footballers in this amazing place,” he said.
There was a light-hearted moment when the player fumbled with his phone on stage as he searched for his speech.
Co-host Hollywood star Eva Longoria playfully quipped: “He’s checking his text” to laughter from the crowd.
On Instagram, Faiz posted a picture of himself with Manchester United legend Alex Ferguson and tweeted another with Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo.
Malaysian fans took to Twitter to congratulate Faiz and said he had made the nation proud.
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak led the tributes.
“Congratulations... your success in winning the award will bring inspiration to Malaysian footballers,” he wrote on Facebook.
Footage of the 29-year-old’s extraordinary goal went viral last year, making him a sensation in soccer-crazy Malaysia.
Japanese couple Rikiya and Ayumi Kataoka had their honeymoon wrecked by the COVID-19 pandemic, but their resourcefulness in enforced exile in Cape Verde has won them appointments as ambassadors for its Olympic team. The Kataokas had completed a third of their round-the-world trip when a suspension in long-haul flights stranded them for five months in the archipelago of 10 tiny islands off the coast of West Africa. Unable to resume their journey to Europe and then home to Japan, and unwilling to head to the African mainland, where virus cases are spiking, they had to trade their skills with domestic businesses to
WEEKEND MATCHES: While Tatung FC made good on their chances early on, Taiwan Steel rallied to win the game 2-3 and move to the top with Taichung Futuro Sunday’s action saw Taichung Futuro, Taipower FC and Taiwan Steel tied for first place on 30 points in the Taiwan Football Premier League, while Hang Yuan FC picked up a point to take the No. 4 spot on 25 points after holding Taipower to a scoreless draw. In Taoyuan, Tatung FC hosted Taiwan Steel. It was an exciting matchup, as the visitors rallied from 2-0 down to take the game with three goals. Tatung made good on their chances early on. Honduran midfielder Elias Argueta opened the account 15 minutes into the game with a low shot from the right. Three minutes
Ronnie O’Sullivan delivered a scathing attack on the next generation of snooker players after he made the quarter-finals of the World Snooker Championship on Sunday, ending Chinese star Ding Junhui’s world championship dream. The mercurial 44-year-old Englishman won an enthralling high-quality second-round encounter 13-10 to set up a quarter-final clash with three-time champion Mark Williams. When asked by the BBC whether he thought he would remain at the top of the game for this long, the Briton, who turned professional in 1992, said the poor quality of younger players had secured his position and that something drastic would have to happen
Max Verstappen informed his Red Bull team that he would not be driving “like a grandma” in Formula One’s 70th Anniversary Grand Prix on Sunday — and he was as good as his word. The Dutch 22-year-old seized his opportunity at Silverstone, ending dominant Mercedes’ run of four successive wins this season and moving up to second place overall, 30 points behind leader Lewis Hamilton. Verstappen’s confidence shone through early on, after slotting into third place behind the two Mercedes, when he was told by race engineer Gianpiero Lambiase to take care of his tires. “Mate, this is the only chance of being