July 18

10 Top Football Players In Malaysia


Football – The most popular sports in Malaysia as in many other parts of the world features a competitive football team ranked 147th by FIFA as of 23rd June 2022.

The current team features a number of outstanding players who participate in the Malaysian Super League as well as international fixtures while historically Malaysian football has produced a number of players of international repute.

1.   Muhammad Syamer bin Kutty Abba

Since his debut against Hong Kong (China PR) in October 2017, Muhammad Syamer bin Kutty Abba has made more than 29 appearances in Malaysia. His main playing position is as Attacking Midfielder (AM) while he also features as Left Midfielder (LM), Right Midfielder (RM). He currently represents Johor Darul Ta’zim in the Malaysian Super League.

He is known for excellent ball control and outstanding passes and his strength and stamina on the field make him one of the best Malaysian footballers of this era.

2.   Muhammad Safawi bin Rasid

This player plays for Johor Darul Ta’zim as well as the Malaysian national team debuting against Indonesia in 2016. He has made more than 40 international appearances to date with 18 goals to his credit. He’s primarily a right-winger, but he can also play centre-forward or left-winger if necessary.

As a free-kick specialist, he is known for his ability to curl the ball and create curving long-range shots. After scoring a curler against Shandong Luneng, it was voted the AFC Champions League’s best goal of the decade by its fans.

3.   Muhammad Faisal bin Abdul Halim

A forward for Malaysian Super League club Terengganu and the national team, he was born on January 7th, 1998. His dribbling skills and speed, as well as his powerful shot and ability to score directly from corner kicks, make him a rising star who currently has two international goals to his name from eight appearances for the national team.

4.   Muhammad Syafiq bin Ahmad

He was born on 28 June 1995 and played as a forward for Malaysian club Johor Darul Ta’zim and the Malaysia national team featuring in 32 (international) matches and scoring a total of 9 goals to date. Syafiq’s versatility and his ability to fill multiple positions from midfielder to lone striker make him a prized asset to any team.

Syafiq’s most memorable stint in international matches was in 2019 – where he scored five goals for Malaysia — including a brilliant header to open the scoring against semifinalists the United Arab Emirates in the joint-qualifiers for the 2022 FIFA World Cup and the 2023 AFC Asian Cup — to go along with a hat-trick and two assists against Sri Lanka in a friendly.

5.   Safiq bin Rahim

Safiq was born on the 5th of July 1987 and now plays as an attacking midfielder for Johor Darul Ta’zim and the Malaysian national team. He has featured in more than 80 fixtures and scored more than 21 goals. Safiq has represented his home country since 2005.

The 2007 ASEAN Football Championship was his debut international match, and he made his debut for the national team of his native country Myanmar. It was against Zimbabwe in an unofficial friendly match on July 12th, 2009, that he scored his first senior international goal.

6.   Dion-Johan Chai Cools

For Danish Superliga club FC Midtjylland and the Malaysian national team, he plays right or centres back. At the youth level, Cools represented Belgium 28 times. He made his Malaysian international debut against UAE in June 2021. He has the makings of a future star, thanks to his impressive combination of talent, adaptability, and stamina. He adds a whole new dimension to Harimau Malaya because of his experience of playing in the UEFA Champions League

7.   Matthew Thomas Davies

A right-back for Malaysian Super League club Johor Darul Ta’zim and the Malaysian national team, Matthew was born on February 7, 1995. Born and raised in Perth, Australia he started his career with Perth Glory at 18 years old. The Malaysia Super League brought Davies to Sri Pahang in 2015 after he spent two seasons with Perth Glory.

Davies was given the captaincy at age 21, making him the youngest captain in the history of Sri Pahang and the first half Malaysian to lead a Malaysian Super League team in his second season. On the 8th of September, Davies made his Malaysian national team debut against Saudi Arabia in a World Cup Qualifying game that ended in a 1–2 defeat.


8.   Datuk Wira Soh Chin Ann

It would be inappropriate to omit to mention the legends and the trailblazers of yester years who have put Malaysian football on the map capturing the imagination of the young footballers in the country.

Their contribution to the promotion of Malaysian football cannot be overlooked so we mention below only a few of the all-time greats.

FIFA currently recognises legendary footballer Datuk Wira Soh Chin Ann as the world’s most-capped player. This is a remarkable accomplishment given the level of competition he faced.


9.   Mokhtar Dahari

When we talk about Mokhtar Dahari, he was arguably the best athlete Malaysia has ever produced. He ranked 3rd in FIFA’s top men’s scorers with 89 international goals and a decade-long career captivated spectators with his skill, power, and accuracy.

The highlights of his illustrious career were beating Arsenal FC and scoring against the England B team which resulted in a draw.


10.                  Chee Keong

His impenetrable defence earned him the nickname “Asian Stainless-Steel Gate” from fellow players. His selection as Asia’s best goalkeeper by the Asian Football Confederation was an accurate one. From 1966 to 1970, he has re-elected a total of five times.

During the 1970s, Chee Keong was a professional football player in Hong Kong for about 10 years, making his national debut at the age of 15. The highlight of his career was a spectacular save he made against Brazilian legend Pele, which led to an offer to play for Pele’s Cruzeiro club.


In A Nutshell

Malaysian football has a rich history with truly world-class players and a bright future ahead with the crop of current Malaysian footballers able to stand their own against world-class opposition. Given the passion for the sport in the country, it is expected that in the coming years Malaysia would soon become a football powerhouse in Asia if not the world.

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