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Malaysia in awe of ‘Roberto Carlos’ style wonder goal

18 February 2016, 19:38

Kuala Lumpur - Midfielder Mohamad Faiz Subri said Thursday the extraordinary swerving free kick he scored for Penang state in the Malaysian Super League was no fluke, after the goal prompted comparisons to Roberto Carlos' thunderbolt for Brazil against France in 1997.

Footage of the the 28-year-old scoring Tuesday from a free kick 35 metres out in the 62nd minute has gone viral and made him an footballing sensation.

Many fans on social media compared Faiz's wonder strike with the goal by former Brazil and Real Madrid star Carlos.

"What a goal by Faiz Subri for Penang! ... like Roberto Carlos. GK did not know to come or stay," one Twitter user posted.

Faiz's shot swerved from left to the top right of the net after sending the hapless Pahang state goalkeeper the wrong way.

"This is no fluke goal. My coach makes me practise the kick after the usual training. I intend to score more of such goals God willing," Faiz told AFP.

Recalling the moments before the goal, his second in the 4-1 win over Pahang, Faiz said: "I looked for a target area, was calm and used the outer side of my right leg to fire a powerful shot at goal."

"I am happy that I have made Malaysia proud and it is a big honour to be mentioned with the likes of legend Roberto Carlos," he added.

Carlos scored with a notorious banana strike from a 35 metre free kick with no direct sight of goal.

Also read: Displaced by IS, Iraqi soccer star now off to the Olympics

Faiz could now even be a contender for the coveted FIFA Puskas Award for goal of the year next January.

"This is an award every football player longs for. I hope I will be short-listed," he said.

Gary Nair, Penang FA vice-president, said Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng would award Faiz $2,400 for the outstanding goal, and described it as "the most magnificent" he had seen in Malaysian football.

Lim had earlier posted on Twitter: "Definitely the best M'sian free kick goal ever n best in the world so far for 2016. Penang football team making waves."

Meanwhile national coach Ong Kim Swee hailed Faiz's goal, saying it was a long awaited "magic tonic" to rejuvenate ailing Malaysian national football.

"It is not a fluke goal. I will be calling Faiz to join the national team for training to play in the World Cup qualifier against Saudi Arabia on March 24," he said.

Malaysia's national side has plunged to 171 in the FIFA world football rankings -- its worst ever ranking, down from 79 in the world in 1993.

Critics blame the country's football association, saying it has failed to invest in youth development programmes or to protect playing fields from developers.

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