Penang striker Mohd Faiz Subri’s success in winning FIFA’s Puskas Award for 2016 has made his birth place, Kedah and the nation proud said his father Subri Kader, 64.
Subri said he was extremely proud and happy that his fifth of six children had made a meaningful contribution to his team, family, state and country.
“We have been waiting for this moment since the day he was voted for the award. This is a big ‘present’ to the state and country. I hope the success can inspire him further,” he told reporters after Mohd Faiz was announced as the winner in Zurich, Switzerland at 2.40am (Malaysian time).
Subri said the award was just reward for the support from the family all these years and the sacrifices the family members have made to see Mohd Faiz become a professional player.
“I just want to hug him once he comes back. He is an obedient child who always cared for the family. I was also overcome by emotion when he mentioned the family when receiving the award.
“The win was probably a blessing for all our prayers,” he said adding that Mohd Faiz had called him before the start of the award ceremony.
Mohd Faiz’s mother Saadiah Ishak, 55, said the whole family would like to thank the people in her village, his fans and the entire nation for their prayers.
The win is the best moment of my son’s career and hoped it would be the beginning of bigger things to come.
“It is not easy to win such a prestigious award. This is the reward for the prayers from all fans in the country,” she said.
Mohd Faiz pipped Brazil’s Johnath Marlone Azevedo da Silva (22.86 per cent of votes) and Venezuela’s woman player Daniuska Rodriguez (10.01 per cent) to the award which was first won by Cristiano Ronaldo in 2009.
The award was presented to Mohd Faiz by former Brazilian football great Ronaldo while Cristiano Ronaldo also clinched The Best FIFA Men’s Player 2016 award in Zurich.
Mohd Faiz was the architect of what has been described as a physics-defying swerving goal against Pahang in the Malaysian Super League match on Feb 16, so spectacular that it catapulted him to international recognition.
The ball was heading towards one corner but ended up deceptively in the other, leaving the Pahang goalkeeper – and football fans – dumbfounded.
Meanwhile, his friends at Kampung Pida 6, Tok Kepak here were equally happy with Mohd Faiz’s success in winning the Puskas Award.
Helmi Baharom, 25, said Mohd Faiz’s win was also a win for friends who had played with him in the village.
“When we started playing football as kids, Mohd Faiz was very focused and serious compared with us. He worked very hard to be where he is today,” said Helmi when met at Mohd Faiz’s house after the announcement.
Mohd Adha Salleh, 35, meanwhile, believes Mohd Faiz would be able to repeat a similar feat in the future and win another award.
“I am very proud to be a friend to Mohd Faiz and I will certainly be at the Bayan Lepas International Airport to welcome him and hug him until I am satisfied,” he said.– Bernama