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Malaysia’s finest

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Football is the most beloved sport in the world. It is watched and played in every corner of the planet and often referred to as the “most important unimportant thing in the world”. The popular competitions organized by FIFA and UEFA are broadcast in every nation; therefore, it is easy to understand why people love them so much.

Some clubs have fans in distant countries, and certain players have almost deity-like status. Fans love them, as their skills and sacrifice on the pitch bring out the raw emotions in the spectators and create unforgettable moments.

As in every country in the world, Malaysia has its football legends and we wanted to look at the 10 most popular players of all time.

The Popularity of Football in Malaysia

Recognized as the most popular sport in this country, football was brought into Malaysia by British sailors. And who would be better to teach them about the beautiful game than the people who invented it? All this led to the creation of the Football Association of Malaysia in 1921. People fell in love quickly and started to play it, watch it, and even gamble on it.

It certainly helps when you see that establishments that have online sports betting in Malaysia offer remarkable promotions to football fans. The rich history and tradition of football in the country, which spans over 100 years, has these players as the best ones of all time.

Mokhtar Dahari

We start our list with the most notable player in Malaysian history, popular by the nickname Supermokh. He played for the national squad during its golden era in the 1970s. He was renowned for his skills and strength, which helped him become the best scorer in the history of the country. He managed to score 89 goals in 142 appearances for his country in 13 years of his professional career.

He was also a leading striker for national teams for 24 years before Iranian Ali Daei overtook the first place.

Abdul Ghani Minhat

The best player in the country before the appearance of Supermokh was Abdul Ghani Minhat. He is considered one the best players of all time and has the title Raja Bola, which translates to King of Ball. He played for the Malaysian national team since its foundation in 1963 and for its predecessor known as Malaya national football team. Combined, he appeared for his country on 71 occasions.

Mohd Faiz Subri

In third place, we have a player who brought attention to Malaysian football with his club performance. Mohd Faiz Subri became globally famous in 2016 when he won the FIFA Puskas Award. For those not informed, this is a reward that is given for the most beautiful goal in a calendar year. He is the first-ever Asian who managed to win this award.

Rengasamy Arumugam

Arumugam was a legendary goalkeeper who played for the national team and Selangor football club. He was also known by the nickname Spiderman, due to his long arms and incredible saves. He started playing for the national team in the 1970s, however, his life tragically ended in a car accident when he was only 35 years old.

Soh Chin Ann

The same as with every strong defensive player, Soh was recognized by the nickname Tauke which means the Boss. Maybe some center-back wonderkids like Pau Cubarsi from La Masia can hope to claim such nicknames on the football pitch. He currently holds the record for most appearances for the Malaysian national team, which stands at 219 caps. In his club career, he played for Malacca and Selangor.

Santokh Singh

Another defender on the list, Santokh was famous for his capability to read the game and create attacks from the defensive line. A very useful skill from a defender. He appeared for the national team on 119 occasions and was an important player in the conquest of the gold medal at the 1989 SEA Games.

Isa Bakar

Another player from the golden era of the 1970s is Isa Bakar, who is just above Mohd Shaharuddin Abdullah on the list of the best goal-scorers in Malaysian history. Occupying the 3rd position with 45 goals from only 69 appearances, he was the attacking partner with Supermokh. Those two combined were a deadly duo.

Mohd Shaharuddin Abdullah

One of the most feared strikers of his time, the Harimau Malaysia once scored 15 goals in a single competition. That record was long-lasting in the Merdeka Cup. He played for two clubs in his career, Penang and Penjara FC. He is currently the 4th striker on the Malaysian top goal scorers list with 39 goals.

Zainal Abidin Hassan

Born in Selangor, this player had the honour of playing for the team from the same town. An interesting fact about Zainal is that he played in all positions except as a goalkeeper. On numerous occasions, he appeared as a defender, midfielder, and forward. This hasn’t stood in the way of his achievement of becoming the 2nd striker in the history of Malaysian football, netting 50 goals in 129 appearances.

Shukor Salleh

Shukor was the main player in the midfield of the best national team in the country, the one in the 1970s. His nickname was Mr. Cool as the ball was in his possession when things were tough for the team. He is 2nd on the list of most appearances for the national team, playing in 172 matches.

He is important for the history of this team as he was the second and last player who won the Malaysian National Sportsman Award in 1977 for his contribution to the team.


Football is important in Malaysia, as people simply adore this sport and the excitement that it brings to the nation. In the past, the country had amazing players who appeared on the football pitch, and their success should never be forgotten.

We have presented you with a list of 10 of the best Malaysian football players of all time, and we hope you will remember their names and achievements.

Vatsal Gupta
A die-hard Red Devil, who has straight up not had a good time since 2012. Lives on Korean dramas and books and can often be heard talking about armchair psychological stuff.

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