Chance for Luqman Hakim to follow footsteps of Fabregas


KUALA LUMPUR – Young national sensational footballer Luqman Hakim Shamsudin (picture) who has now appeared more mature physically is poised to be a future star in the national squad.

Former Under-19 national squad manager, Datuk Kamarul Ariffin Mohd Shahar said the performance of Luqman Hakim, 19, is different compared to before joining Belgian League side KV Kortrijkin in  August last year.

“What happened to Luqman is his own desire and initiative to succeed and he has changed 100 per cent.

“On the first day of training with the national team, he is very different compared to training in the U-19 squad with me, his behaviour and body language show he is very professional,” he told reporters recently.

Luqman Hakim was called to join the national squad centralised training as preparations for the World Cup 2022/Asian Cup 2023 qualifiers.

Four other strikers selected are Harimau Malaya naturalised player, Guilherme de Paula (Perak FC), Muhammad Syafiq Ahmad (JDT), Muhammad Shahrel Fikri Md Fauzi (Selangor FC) and Norshahrul Idlan Talaha (Sarawak United FC).

Luqman Hakim who was given a break by his club for the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) window now would be among the five strikers called by national chief coach Tan Cheng Hoe.

Kamarul Ariffin said if the performance of the Kota Bharu lad continues to improve, it would not be a surprise if he follows the footsteps of former Arsenal captain and Barcelona star, Cesc Fabregas who made his first appearance for Spain when he was 19-year-old.

“I am confident he will shine. He is expected to make it to the first eleven,” said Kamarul Ariffin who was appointed as one of the two national squad assistant managers recently.