Malaysia name stars for Chelsea, Barca games

Malaysia coach K. Rajagobal has called up a star-studded 27-man squad for the upcoming friendlies against English giants Chelsea and La Liga champions Barcelona.

Rajagobal unhappy with what he's seeing...

By FOX Sports staff

Chelsea and Barcelona have both made Malaysia a stop on their summer tours of Asia and will play exhibition matches against a Malaysian selection on July 21 and August 10 respectively.

Although these increasingly frequent fixtures officially remain non-competitive fixtures, it has long been viewed as the Malaysians as an excellent chance to test their mettle against some of the world's best sides, and the national team has regularly been the default squad of players selected.

And that proved to be the case again after Rajagobal named his 27-strong list on Friday, including 13 players from the side that reached the semi-finals of last year's AFF Suzuki Cup.

Kelantan have a total of seven players called up including regulars Khairul Fahmi and Shakir Shaari, but calls to include talismanic captain Badhri Radzi have not gone unheard as he too has been named, despite his lack of international action throughout his career.

Selangor are the next best represented with six names in the squad, including Amri Yahyah, Mahalli Jasuli and K. Gurusamy, and few would raise eyebrows given the Red Giants have been one of the better sides in the Malaysia Super League this season.

Despite their failure to win the league title for all their big-spending ways, Darul Takzim have a quartet of players called up in Aidil Zafuan, Safiq Rahim, Safee Sali and Norshahrul Idlan Talaha, while talented centre-back Fadhli Shas is the only Harimau Muda A player that has been given the nod.

Rajagobal has also opted to give a couple of fringe players and youngsters a chance to prove their worth, including Negri Sembilan's Nazrin Nawi, Terengganu forward Ashaari Shamsuddin and wonderkid Nazmi Faiz of PKNS FC.

Malaysia squad for friendlies against Chelsea and Barcelona

Goalkeepers: Khairul Fahmi (Kelantan), Norazlan Razali (Selangor), Farizal Marlias (Perak)

Defenders: Nik Shahrul Azim, Azizi Matt Rose (both Kelantan), Aidil Zafuan (Darul Takzim), Asraruddin Putra Omar, Mahalli Jasuli (both Selangor), Zubir Azmi (Terengganu), K. Reuben, Amirizdwan Taj Tajuddin (both ATM), Fadhli Shas (Harimau Muda A)

Midfielders: Badhri Radzi, Shakir Shaari (both Kelantan), Safiq Rahim (Darul Takzim), K. Gurusamy, S. Kunanlan (both Selangor), Ashaari Shamsuddin (Terengganu), Nazmi Faiz (PKNS FC), Azamuddin Akil (Pahang), Nazrin Nawi (Negri Sembilan)

Forwards: Norfarhan Muhammad, Ahmad Fakri Saarani (both Kelantan), Safee Sali, Norshahrul Idlan Talaha (both Darul Takzim), Amri Yahyah (Selangor), Nizad Ayub (PKNS FC)

Image courtesy of WSG



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