What did we just watch?!
28-year-old Penang footballer Mohd Faiz Subri just became an overnight global sensation after footage of his insane free kick during the Penang – Pahang Malaysian Super League match went viral. So much so that multiple news/media outlets suggested that the free kick could give him the chance to win the 2016 FIFA Puskas Award for the Goal of the Year.
Note: The FIFA Puskas Award is an acknowledgement to the player, male or female, judged to have scored the most aesthetically significant, or “most beautiful”, goal of the year. Among those who have won the award in the past are Zlatan Ibrahmovic (2013), Neymar (2011), and Cristiano Ronaldo (2009).
Mohd Faiz himself did not expect his action on video scoring the goal from a free kick would go viral worldwide, but he regarded the goal as his good luck.
Popular football site 101 Great Goals shared the clip on their Facebook page, hailing it as “INSANE!!!”. As at time of writing, the video has garnered over 3.1. million views, 84 thousand likes, 46 thousand shares, and 9.2k shares. Mohd Faiz’s “football work of art” was mentioned on CBS Sports, The Independent, FourFourTwo, Sports Illustrated, Mirror, and GQ too.
His sensational, physics-defying kick also got the attention of Penang chief minister Lim Guan Eng, who tweeted the following in the wee hours of this morning:
Pg's attacking midfielder Faiz Subri's incredible bender of a goal agst Pahang (Pg won 4-1) last nite reported inhttps://t.co/y7DcIXWjXV
— Lim Guan Eng (@cmlimguaneng) February 16, 2016
The Penang state government later rewarded him with RM10,000 for bringing worldwide recognition and glory to Penang and Malaysia. During the ceremony at his office in Komtar, Penang Lim Guan Eng said, “This is the first time a Malaysian footballer has received global fame for the right reasons.”
Bernama quoted Mohd Faiz as saying that he practised at least 10 free kicks every time during routine training. He said that he would be able to achieve the perfect curve kick sometimes during training. “Sometimes, I could perform the kick during training, but sometimes it doesn’t happen. Okay, it happened last night,” he said.
On the possibility of the goal winning the 2016 FIFA Puskas Award? He simply said, “Thank God, if that’s the case.”