Friday, October 17, 2008

Safee's scissors

Safee Sali (left, with photographer Osman Adnan and Amirulhadi Zainal) has a knack of scoring beautiful goals. His scissors kick off his cushion header thanks to a lob from Shukor Adan ended up in the Nepal net as Malaysia won 4-0 in their opening Merdeka Tournament match.

In one Intercontinental Cup match in June, Safee's athleticism enabled him to volley home a goal against one of the teams, I can't recall off hand.

But each time I bump into Safee, I like to remind him of a certain occasion when his well-timed pass freed Akmal Rizal Ahmad Rakhli to equalise as Malaysia held China to a 1-1 draw in a pre-Olympic tie in Wuhan in 2004. It was Safee's first touch after coming in as a substitute. Dispossessing a Chinese midfielder, Safee's through ball pierced the Great Wall and Akmal gleefully tucked home the equaliser with three or four minutes to go. But we did not qualify for the next stage, let alone the Athens Games. But I did go to the Athens Olympics, the birthplace of the Olympic Games, thanks to the Malay Mail.


kajang-today said...

if i'm not mistaken, it's a smokescreen to tell the world that you've been to Athens.
and you met Azalina while you were there though she may pass you as a French journalist.

Izham said...


Since you wrote about Safee, I have to say that he is one of the most humble and friendly players around. I was with my son and happened to meet him at MBPJ Stadium recently. We approached him and he responded in a very friendly manner.

There were no airs about him as he chatted with us despite not knowing us. My son even took a picture with him which is something he treasures. I would also say that he is at present the best striker in Malaysia and having met and spoken with him believe that he will not let success go to his head, unlike a certain young footballer who is currently overseas training with a pro club and refuse to join the national team.