LAST_UPDATETue, 19 Jun 2018 10pm

Areff Could Be Up Next For Puskas Award

KUALA LUMPUR: After Penang’s Faiz Subri rocked world football with his physics defying free-kick in 2016, Could there be a second Malaysian footballer who can pull off another stunner by winning Fifa’s prestigious Puskas award for the best goal scored?

It is no longer seen as impossible for another Malaysian footballer to follow in Faiz’s steps after UiTM FC’s Nur Areff Kamarudin scored a stunningly beautiful goal in a Malaysia Premier League match against Johor Darul Ta’zim II (JDT II) at the Pasir Gudang Municipal Council Stadium last Wednesday.

The 24-year-old player intercepted a clearance by JDT II’s defense with his chest before volleying the ball from distance with goalkeeper Samuel Sommerville well beaten.

What made it all the more sweeter was the fact that the beautifully scored goal was the equaliser in the final minute of the match which enabled Wan Mustapha Wan Ismail’s team to take back a precious point after coming back from two goals down.

The goal has gone viral on social media after netizens commented and responded that Nur Areff’s goal is similar to the one scored by Colombia’s James Rodriguez in the 2014 World Cup quarter-final against Uruguay which saw the Bayern Munich player win the Puskas award that same year.

When contacted, Nur Areff said he scored the goal in such a manner after seeing goalkeeper Sommerville off his line so he seized the opportunity to make such an audacious attempt at goal.

“The goal has given me motivation to do better and score more goals, and I am very thankful that my volley sent the ball into the back of the net which allowed us to snatch a point.

“For me, it is an honour when my goal is compared to the one scored by James Rodriguez. And it will be an even bigger honour for me if the FA of Malaysia (FAM) nominate my goal to Fifa to be contested for the prestigious Puskas award.

“However it is all up to FAM if they want to nominate my goal or not. Whatever it is, I will be very thankful to FAM if they do decide to nominate my goal,” he said when contacted earlier today.

Even though he came on as a substitute, he has performed well so far this season, as he set up The Lion Troops second goal in their first match against Penang, apart from scoring the equaliser in their second match of the season against JDT II.