JERLUN: The usually quiet Kampung Tok Kepak suddenly turned astonishingly lively when a crowd of some 100 people jumped in joy the moment the village’s golden boy, Mohd Faiz Subri was announced the winner of FIFA’s Puskas Award 2016 early this morning.
Although they realised that the 30-year-old Penang striker’s so-called “physics-defying” strike, stood a chance to clinch the award after receiving the top three highest votes to make it to the finals, villagers were made to hold their breath as Brazilian legendary striker Ronaldo stepped on the stage to announce the winner.
It was truly a carnival-like atmosphere at the village with the crowd, gathering in front of a big screen projector set up on the yard of Faiz’s parents home since midnight for the live telecast from Zurich.
Also staying awake for the historic announcement were Faiz’s parents Sa’diah Ishak, 55, and Subri Kader, 64.
“I am definitely proud of my son’s achievement. I hope he will continue to improve and gain more success in the future,” Subri said in his immediate reaction to the announcement.
It was definitely a proud moment for Kedahans, in particular his family as Faiz’s success had earned him a spot with other football legends such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and James Rodriguez.
Also nominated for the most beautiful goal of the year were Johnath Marlone Azevedo da Silva from Brazil and women football player, Daniuska Rodriguez from Venezuela.
To date, there were only three Asian players listed among the top 10 nominees since the inception of the Fifa Puskas Award in 2009.
Faiz made history after being the first Asian football player to be placed in the top three for the 2016 award. He made the spectacular goal during a freekick in a Super League match against Pahang on February 16 last year.
The video clip of Faiz’s sensational freekick was first uploaded by FifaTV on November 21 on YouTube, and had garnered more than 27 millions hits.
-New Straits Times