Featured, Football

#HarimauMalaysia: Is Nazmi Faiz good enough to replace Safiq Rahim?

Malaysian national team boss Datuk Ong Kim Swee has urged Nazmi Faiz to continue working hard and maintain his current form for the next few weeks, if he is keen on getting a plane ticket for the AFF Suzuki Cup, which is slated to kick-off in November.

Ong is in the midst of evaluating the talent pool at his disposal, and with Safiq Rahim retired and Brendan Gan out of the picture with an ACL injury, you would assume that Nazmi would easily slide into the final squad of 23 players. Unfortunately, Ong doesn’t think so.

“I’ve known Nazmi for a long time now, since the 2011 SEA Games. He was even an important player for us during the London Olympic qualifiers,” Ong told Harian Metro.

Photo Credit: www.bazookapenaka.my
Photo Credit: www.bazookapenaka.my

“Of course, I’d love to see him in the national team, but I’ve got to see him do well for Selangor in two or three more games. It’s not just Nazmi, every player out there has got to be consistent, if they want a spot in the national team,” he added.

The 22 year-old was a standout performer during Selangor’s Malaysia Cup tie against PKNS FC last week, dictating the tempo of the game as a deep-lying playmaker. His performance effectively reignited comparisons between him and ex-Harimau Malaysia captain Safiq Rahim, though Ong isn’t buying into that narrative.

“To me, it doesn’t matter if he’s a direct replacement for Safiq. All that matters to me is the determination to represent our country, and to believe in our team spirit,” Ong explained.

Nazmi was one Malaysia’s hottest football prospect, especially after he secured a high-profile move to Portuguese side, SC Beira Mar. Unfortunately, the move was short-lived, and he returned to Malaysia, before signing for PKNS FC in 2013. Little over a year later, the diminutive midfielder moved to Selangor FA, playing an important role in their Malaysia Cup triumph last year.

What are your thoughts? Do you think Nazmi is an ideal replacement for Safiq Rahim? Let us know by commenting below!

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