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Don't let it go to your head, Faiz told
Published on: Thursday, January 12, 2017

GEORGE TOWN: A Football Association of Penang board member has a piece of sound advice for its player Faiz Subri, who won the 'Fifa Puskas Award 2016' for "the most beautiful goal" — "Don't let it go to your head".

Penang FA deputy president Laurence Loh said the attention Faiz was bound to receive from Malaysians and his newfound fans from around the world will likely be tremendous but it could also unfortunately affect his ability to play in the future, reported the FMT.

"Faiz has to be cautious as this (winning the award) makes him a target. After scoring that goal last season, everybody will mark him.

"So it will become very difficult for him to (execute) that same goal again," Loh said.

He explained that ever since the video clip of Faiz shooting the goal had gone viral, the footballer was having a rough time trying to repeat that kick.

"Faiz has been overdoing it and has never scored again in his free kicks," Loh observed.

Loh hoped however, that Faiz would be able to handle the "psychology of fame" as the award he received was a first for a Malaysian player.

"When this goal was first scored, everybody was surprised. But in reality, he has scored goals like that before.

(The only difference is that) it was never publicised.

"He was playing in the lower divisions. He has scored beautiful goals for us from free kicks," Loh said.

Loh also cautioned against rushing to award Faiz with a Datukship (honorific title).

"Given the state of football in our country, it is always nice to have a champion.

It is always nice to have someone like Faiz to put on a global pedestal as it will bring recognition to Malaysian football.

"Malaysia should leverage on this the right way — don't give him a Datukship right away," Loh said.

He said Faiz's award had restored the faith of Malaysia's footballing community in the sport, and the footballer's achievements should be used as a benchmark for future football players.

"Because Malaysia has been in a downward spiral (in the sport of football), everybody believes we are really (bad) and have no calibre.

"This award brings attention to the fact that there is talent in Malaysia. And this talent is world-class, so we need to be proud of it and encourage this talent.

"We need to use him (Faiz) as a role model, and show that it is within anybody's capability to be a world champion at that level," Loh said.

"It shows that an above average salaried player can outperform the most expensive players, the 200,000 dollar players and the professionals.

"That is just fantastic." Loh added.

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