We come to the end of a year where Malaysian football has taken a spanking or two.
The domestic football season hadn’t exactly set the world on fire.
Kuala Lumpur City FC, a team that finished sixth in the Super League, won the Malaysia Cup following a 2-0 upset over a stale Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT), the Super League champions.
The one player who impressed me throughout the season with his consistency and consistent selection in the JDT starting 11, is Afiq Fazail.
A quiet, unassuming central midfielder, be it as a “6”, “8” or occasionally, even a “10”, Afiq makes others shine. Mucking out with Natxo Insa to win the ball back, or helping Leandro Velazquez to punch holes in the opposition, Afiq makes the players around him better.
This may sound strange, but I’m actually happy he was not selected for Malaysia in the Asean Football Federation Cup because this means he is not tainted or burdened with the colossal failure of the national team.
I may, however, add that the Football Association of Malaysia has been blind to such a talent.
Afiq remains the player who has impressed me the most in 2021.
This is the personal opinion of the writer and does not necessarily represent the views of Twentytwo13.