Entertainment Sports World Cup 2014

8 ways Malaysia made it to the World Cup (well, sort of)

10 points for you if you managed to spot the Malaysian flag at the WC14 in Brazil. The words “Malaysia” and “World Cup” are rarely mentioned together in a sentence unless of course you live in a parallel universe where Malaysia hosted the 2014 World Cup. Believe it or not, our lil nation have played a tiny role in some of the WCs since the 90s’ (actually according to my grandpa it goes back much further but we couldn’t find substantial info cause it was during the B.C. ages… Before Candy Crush).

To save our beloved readers the long Sejarah lesson, we decided to cap our list at an auspicious 8 connections. Not all connections are directly linked to Malaysia i.e. having an actual Malaysian in the tournament; some are players that have dirtied their boots on Malaysian soil for the local leagues. We’re counting down the list from the not-so-direct links to the very-direct-you-can’t-miss-it-unless-you’re-Brazil-playing-Germany.

1. Karel Stromsik

Image from www.soccermond.com

Image from www.soccermond.com

Country: Czechoslovakia

Position played: Goalkeeper

World Cup history: Played in 1982

Achievements: Won the Czechoslovak First League (it’s like the Premier League) with Dukla Prague (the Barcelona of that country) in 1979 and 1982

Old newspaper clipping (yes they had colour back then). Image from xzekurna.blogspot.com

Old newspaper clipping (yes they had colour back then). Image from xzekurna.blogspot.com

Malaysian connection:

  • Goalkeeper, Selangor FA 1989 – 1993, won FA Cup and League Champions
  • Director of Coaching for Public Bank FC, Malaysia League’s Second Division 2003/2004 champions
  • Technical Adviser for Felda United, Super League
Let's play Spot-the_Imports! image from putrarahman.blogspot.com

Let’s play ‘Spot-the-Imports’! Image from putrarahman.blogspot.com

Okay so we lied about the Sejarah lesson but we had to put him in the starting line up because he was Selangor’s very first import-player. Touted by fans as one of the top goalkeepers of Selangor, apart from local boys Rashid Hassan and Spiderman-Arumugam (yes that was his nama glamer but he earned it with his acrobatic spider-like reflexes). After his services to Selangor, Karel just couldn’t keep away from the nasi lemaks so he came back and stayed for a couple more years. His son was born here and Karel now considers Malaysia to be home. Malaysia is after all much easier to spell than his native country of Chak-so-slow-what-kia?


2. Bosko Balaban

He looks a hitman for the Russian mob!

Possible hitman for the Russian mob.

Country: Croatia

Position played: Forward

World Cup history: Played in 2002 and 2006


  • Scoring against Singapore and helped Selangor FA beat them in the Sultans Cup 2012 (big deal okaaaay… Singapore worrrr)
  • Earned the nickname “Super Bosko” for his scoring average of 0.5 goals per match with Club Brugge (he scored 52 goals in 54 appearances)
One for the ladies. Image from www.hrsport.de

One for the ladies. Image from www.hrsport.de

Malaysian connection:

  • Forward, Selangor FA 2012 – 2013, helped Selangor FA qualify for the 2013 AFC Cup.
  • Did we mention he scored against Singapore?

A fan-made compilation of some of his best goals.

With a higher scoring average than Chua Soi Lek, Super Bosko was formerly one of the top striking prospects in Europe and deserves a spot on our list. He played for clubs like Aston Villa, Dinamo Zagreb (Croatia), and Club Brugge (Belgium) before making his way to our muddy grounds. Scoring on his debut match against Kelantan, a lot of hope and dreams were piled on Bosko to lead the Red Giants to victory but somehow he just couldn’t replicate that same stellar performance in Europe (we think it’s the weather and banana leaf rice).


3. Perica Ognjenovic

Image from www.lacomunidad.as.com

Image from www.lacomunidad.as.com

Country: Serbia and Montenegro (formerly Yugoslavia)

Position played: Forward

World Cup history: Played in 1998


  • Won Champions League 1999/2000 with Real Madrid
  • Won La Liga 2000/2001 with Real Madrid
Image from www.thestar.com.my

Image from www.thestar.com.my

Malaysian connection: Forward, Selangor FA 2006

"Wrong ball bro!". Image from www.thestar.com.my

“Wrong ball bro!” Image from www.thestar.com.my

Boasting of Champions League and La Liga medals; Perica was Selangor’s most decorated import who also played for top European clubs Dynamo Kiev (Ukraine) and FC Kaiserslautern (Germany). He represented his country at the ripe age of 18 before becoming a fixture in the squad. A modest and quiet player who created scoring chances for others while avoiding media attention. “He should go into politics” said no one ever.


4. Pablo Aimar

Image from www.fanphobia.net

Image from www.fanphobia.net

Country: Argentina

Position played: Midfield

World Cup history: Played in 2002 and 2006

Ever wonder why Malaysians love Korean drama so much? Here are 5 sensible reasons from local K-fans


  • Won the La Liga twice with Valencia in 2001/2002 and 2003/2004
  • Won the UEFA Cup with Valencia in 2003/2004
  • Runner-ups in Champions League in 2001 with Valencia
It's "Ho-hor" in Spanish! Image from www.thestar.com.my

It’s “Ho-hor” in Spanish! Image from www.thestar.com.my

Malaysian connection:
Midfield, Johor Darul Takzim F.C. 2013 – 2014

YouTube land is home to tons of Pablo’s goals but this is our favourite cause of the accompanying song.

Hailed by fans as the new Maradona of the millennium, the former Valencia (Spain) and Benfica (Portugal) star was the biggest name in Malaysia’s football history! Aimar was the Messi before there even was a Messi and he made the Johorians jump for joy so hard that Singapore sunk by 2cm. Even Johor’s Tunku Mahkota Johor Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim said that it was an honour to have him in the team. Nuff said!


5. Stephen Keshi

Image from yabaleftonline.com

Image from yabaleftonline.com

Country: Nigeria

Position played: Defender

World Cup history: 1994 (player) and 2014 (coach)


  • Current coach of Nigeria for WC2014, took Nigeria to the knockout rounds
  • Won the Africa Cup of Nations as both a player and a coach
  • Named African Coach of the Year 2013 by Confederations of African Football
Keshi being greeted by the Perlis fans for helping them reach the Semis of Piala Malaysia. Image from realitiabadi.blogspot.com.

A young Keshi being greeted by the Perlis fans for helping them reach the Semis of Piala Malaysia. Image from realitiabadi.blogspot.com.

Malaysian connection: Defender, Perlis FA 1997 – 1998

One of Africa’s brightest talents, Keshi was a well known centre-back during his younger days and gives our list a stronger connection to the current WC. He played 386 games and scored 61 goals (that’s pretty impressive for a defender) for various clubs in Africa, Europe, Asia, and North America, including Belgian giants Anderlecht. The Star reported that Keshi was well liked by the people of Perlis and enjoyed his time here as well, spending most of it in Kangar (insert small town joke of your choice). He also helped Perlis FA reach the semis of Malaysia Cup.


6. Lim Teong Kim

Image from www.mstar.com.my

Image from www.mstar.com.my

Country: Malaysia

Position played: Midfield

World Cup history: None (read on folks, you’ll see why he’s on this list)


  • First Malaysian footballer to play in Europe for Hertha BSC (Germany) in 1987.
  • Youth coach for Bayern Munich (2001 – 2011)
Lets play Spot the Asian. Image from ssdhaliwal.blogspot.com

Lets play ‘Spot the Asian’. Lim with his Bayern youth squad. Image from ssdhaliwal.blogspot.com

World Cup connection:
Do the names Thomas Müller, Toni Kroos, and Bastian Schweinsteiger ring a bell?

Bet you’re wondering who this uncle is… Well he’s the sifoo to the German boys above! That’s right, Uncle Lim was a youth coach for the Bayern Munich academy and he had a hand in molding these goal-scoring machines. The 3 of them are currently playing in WC14 and are responsible for Germany’s spectacular performance. The idea that a Malaysian influenced these buggers is pretty damn cool lor! Uncle Lim is currently with our Sports Ministry as the Project Director of National Football Development Programme hoping to create Malaysian Müllers instead of Tony Kurus… geddit? geddit?

These 2 Germs are on the Top Scorers List. image by BBC.

These 2 Germs are on the Top Scorers List for WC14. Image from BBC.

German cars are built for comfort and high performance. Image from FIFA.com

German cars are built for comfort and high performance. Image from FIFA.com


7. Subkhiddin Mohd Salleh

Image from www.weltfussball.de

Image from www.weltfussball.de

Country: Malaysia

Position: Match official

World Cup history: Match official in 2010


  • Has been a FIFA referee for 11 years.
  • A member of the AFC Elite Referees.
Our hero on the big screen. Image from sangbelang.blogspot.com

Our hero on the big screen. Image from sangbelang.blogspot.com

Now we pay homage to the men in black that put us on the FIFA map. A Malaysian in the World Cup. A Malaysian in the biggest sporting event in the world (Super Bowl don’t count yo). A Malaysian standing along side #femes international players like Rooney, Ronaldo, Messi, Van Persie and more. Malaysia definitely boleh! Our Abang Din was a match official for 11 years and officiated many international matches ranging from ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) tournaments, Asian Football Confederation (AFC) matches to the FIFA world cup itself. Abang Din is now retired and is planning to start a Youth Refereeing Academy to train more local official in hopes of reppin the country again.


8. Capt. (B) Abdul Halim Abdul Hamid (1951 – 2009)

Image from Kosmo!

Image from Kosmo!

Country: Malaysia

Position: Match official

World Cup history: Match official in 1998


  • First Malaysian to officiate at a World Cup, according to worldreferee.com.
  • Officiated the WC98 England-Argentina match where David Beckham was red carded.

The late Capt. Abdul has had an illustrious career, from a local league ref to being the first Malaysian match official in the World Cup and he certainly deserves to be nambawan on our list! One of the most infamous matches he officiated was the epic clash between England and Argentina during WC98. He was the assistant to referee Kim Milton Nielsen and the latter eventually sent David Beckham off after the incident with Diego Simeone, resulting in England being knocked out (again). Not sure what we’re talking about? Watch the clip below.

This concludes our list and we sincerely hope more Malaysians will put us on the world map for the right reasons and not… well… like this…

Click on image to read full article.

Click on image to read full article.

1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Here at CILISOS, we believe that the only way to consume information is with a serious dose of flavour. Our aim is to make mundane things like news and current events entertaining, and informative, hopefully in equal measure. Read More

The Serious Legal Stuff


Cilisos Media Sdn. Bhd. Copyright © 2020. All rights reserved.

To Top
Send this to a friend