FIFA Puskas Award 2016 winner Mohd Faiz Subri expressed his gratitude to Malaysians for the unending prayers of support for his victory in Zurich, Switzerland on Tuesday.
He also thanked fans throughout the world for voting for his goal to be acclaimed as the most beautiful in 2016.
“I was a bit nervous at first but now I feel elated,” he said when interviewed by FIFATV after being presented the award by Brazilian football great Ronaldo during The Best FIFA Football Awards 2016 that was broadcast around the globe and live-streamed on the Internet from the Technology and Production Centre Switzerland.
Mohd Faiz spoke in Bahasa Malaysia during the interview. FA of Malaysia deputy president Afandi Hamzah acted as the interpreter.
The 29-year-old Penang striker told FIFATV that the award was a career defining moment for him and his family.
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.
The Malaysian footballer garnered 59.46 per cent of the votes to pip 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, first won by Cristiano Ronaldo in 2009.
Asked by FIFATV on the goal, the Kedah-born player said it was his best among all the goals he had scored.
“It was the result of endless practice,” he said.
Asked about his future plans, Mohd Faiz said he would love to play in Europe if given the opportunity but admitted he was still on contract with Penang for now.
Mohd Faiz also created history as the first Asian to be bestowed the gong named after Ferenc Puskas, the Hungarian football legend who enjoyed huge success with Real Madrid during the 1950s and 60s as well as his national team.– Bernama