Malaysia overcame Thailand in the semifinal of the AFF Suzuki Cup 2018 to take a step closer to the trophy which they last won in 2010. While the current squad looks a whole lot different from the one that triumphed in 2010, there are still a couple of familiar faces.
But what fortune has struck the old guard? Here, FOX Sports Asia looks at what the members of Malaysia’s starting XI on that day in 2010 are up to right now:
Khairul’s rise to prominence started in the 2010 AFF Suzuki Cup. After replacing Sharbinee Allawee for the second game against Thailand, Khairul made a mark, keeping three clean sheets en route to the final. He played a pivotal role in the final against Indonesia, saving a penalty in the second leg.
Khairul also represented the side in the 2012, 2014 and 2016 editions of the Suzuki Cup and is a part of the squad for the 2018 edition as well.
As for his club career, after winning the The Best Young Player and Best Goalkeeper awards in 2010 while representing Kelantan, he remained with the side until 2018, when he opted to sign for Melaka United, making his club debut in a draw against Perak.
With a total of five Best Goalkeeper awards to his name, Khairul has established himself as a Malaysian great.
Asraruddin Putra Omar
Asraruddin starred for Malaysia back in 2010. After a successful stint with Selangor where he won the Malaysia Super League, Asraruddin cemented his spot at left-back and played a prominent role for Harimau Malaya.
He remained at Selangor until 2013, but his form tailed away badly. A move to Johor Darul Ta’Zim resurrected his career to an extent, and he was a part of three title-winning teams (2014, 2015, 2016).
He is currently a part of Kampung Raja but his international prospects are all but over having failed to make the subsequent Suzuki Cup squads.
Just 19 at the time of the 2010 AFF Suzuki Cup, Fadhli was roped into the playing XI after injuries to Aidil Zafuan and Norhafiz Zamani.
He was also a part of the 2012 and 2014 Suzuki Cup squads.
Fadhli has remained an integral part of Johor’s side ever since joining them in 2014 and has won five successive league titles.
After stellar displays for Malaysia in the 2009 SEA Games and the 2010 Asia Games, Muslim was named in Malaysia’s 2010 Suzuki Cup squad and was a major factor behind their run to the final, starring in the semifinals against Vietnam.
Muslim also starred for the Tigers in the 2014 Suzuki Cup but has faded away ever since, last making an international appearance in 2015.
Having represented the likes of Harimau Muda, PDRM, with whom he won a Malaysia Premier League title in 2014, Terengganu, Johor and Kelantan among others, he is currently a part of Pahang.
Mohd Sabre Mat Abu
One of the most versatile players Malaysia have ever produced, at his peak, Sabre was capable of playing at right-back, in the middle of the defence, and even as a striker. Much of his work at the 2010 Suzuki Cup flew under the radar although he did feature in the second leg of the final against Indonesia.
An alarming drop in form coupled with new talent emerging meant his last international appearance came way back in 2012.
As for his club career, following an incredible seven-year stint at Kedah, he moved to PDRM but returned to Kedah soon enough. However, poor form meant he was offloaded yet again and after a loan stint at Negeri Sembilan, he is now a part of Sarawak.
In a decorated career, he has won as many as 10 major trophies, including two Malaysia Super Leagues and three Malaysia Cups with Kedah.
The captain of Malaysia’s Cup-winning team, Safiq Rahim was arguably their most important player in the campaign, featuring in every single game. He was also a part of the team that finished runners-up in 2014.
He announced his international retirement in 2016 but overturned that decision to return to the national team soon after.
Safiq has won all there is to win in the domestic scene, including five successive Malaysia Super League titles with Johor. He was also named the 2015 AFC Cup’s most valuable player after helping Johor, who he captained up until last season, to a historic triumph.
Having left Johor earlier this year, he is now a free agent.
At the peak of his powers in 2010, Amar Rohidan’s role was to shield the defence, allowing the likes of Safiq and co to venture forward.
He was also a part of the squad for the 2012 edition but could not replicate his 2010 heroics.
As for his domestic career, Rohidan moved to Kedah in 2011 following his Suzuki Cup success, making a total of 56 appearances for them.
Unsuccessful stints at Felda United and Kelantan followed and he last turned out for Kedah in 2016, winning the Malaysia Cup.
Kunanlan did not manage a single goal in the 2010 Suzuki Cup, but was still a constant menace with his pace on the flanks.
He was also a part of Malaysia’s squad for the two subsequent editions of the Suzuki Cup. He announced his international retirement in 2016 though.
As for his domestic career, after featuring for Negeri Sembilan for six successful years, he moved to Selangor in 2012 and then Johor in 2015, for whom he has made 43 appearances till date.
Norshahrul Idlan Talaha
Norhsharul was already an established member of the Malaysian side by the time the 2010 Suzuki Cup rolled around. Expected to be their go-to man for goals, he did not quite have the greatest of tournaments. He did score their first goal of the tournament in their 5-1 defeat to Indonesia, but netted only once more – against Laos.
He has remained ever present in the Malaysia scheme of things, featuring in the 2012, 2014 and 2016 Suzuki Cup sides.
He has also played an integral in the current edition, leading them to the final where he will be expected to come up trumps yet again.
His club career has taken him places, representing the likes of Johor, Terengganu and Felda United among others, and he is currently a part of Pahang.
Safee Sali was Malaysia’s talisman throughout the competition, winning the Golden Boot award for his five goals. After a relatively barren run in the group stages, he struck form in the playoffs, netting a brace in Malaysia’s first-leg semifinal win over Vietnam. He netted three goals in the final against Indonesia across the two legs to scoop up the award.
He was also named in the 2014 and 2016 Suzuki Cup squads but could never quite find his scoring boots again. Safee was also embroiled in a number of controversies, including one in the 2014 Suzuki Cup where he sent fans the following message: “To the fans who swapped flags after being told off last time, don’t hide your faces behind pillows ok..just wipe them with tissues”.
Following his exploits in the Suzuki Cup, he was picked up by Indonesian side Pelita Jaya. He returned to Malaysia soon enough to turn out for Johor in 2013 where he won three successive league titles.
He currently plays for PKNS.
Ashaari played a vital role in Malaysia’s triumph in 2010, scoring his side’s third goal in the first leg of the final against Indonesia and assisting Safee’s goal in the return leg.
A prodigious talent, he was the 2010 MSL Golden Boot winner. After making 200 appearances for Terengganu between 2005 and 2016, he signed for Pahang, but returned to Terengganu after just one year and continues to represent them.