Playing for Malaysia, goalkeepervinyl Sepak Takraw is yet to disappoint on the international stage. A regular for both the Malays and the local teams, Takraw has been named in the team of players that won the 2010 World Cup. Playing at right back, he is a natural finisher with good vision and an exquisite touch. Also, his trademark long kicks have proven lethal. Here are some statistics to appreciate about the 23-year-old:
Goals scored: Takraw scores goals from both set-pieces and free-kicks. As well as being the fastest goal scorer for his club, Takraw also scores a lot of goals from dead-ball situations. He scores a penalty kick from just inside the box against Thailand’s arch rivals Thailand Reds.
And scores against Australia in their 2nd qualifying playoff round. All these came in the last round of the tournament where the Reds were eliminated in the first round. In fact, Australia needed a miracle to win that game and Takraw stepped up to the plate and delivered.
International caps: In the last four World Cups, Takraw has worn the blue and white hoops only once. This was during the United States group stage. In two games against Mexico he wore the number 10.
However, this does not mean that the Socceroos will not be wearing them in the upcoming tournaments. The best player in the world after goalkeeping has always been impressed by the way Takraw plays the game.
Talent: As mentioned earlier, Takraw is a natural finisher. He scores goals from either corner or the halfway post. However, when shooting left-handed he prefers the right-footed shot. For his national team he has played only left-wingers so far.
However, when he plays for Pakistan he will most likely wear the number 10 shirt. The big goalkeeper from Karachi has impressed many with his ability to keep the net shut out even when the other side has a great attacking quartet.
Finesse: It goes without saying that players who have a natural flair for goalkeeping are also considered to be finesse players. The team captain from Pakistan is no exception. Although he is not tall and has a small build, he has a fantastic knack for tracking back and winning the ball back.
Furthermore, he is also good at taking charge in a crucial situation. The coach of the Pakistani squad, Safa Karim, praises Takraw’s goalkeeping abilities saying “Takraw is a fantastic player with amazing technical ability and a calm personality that are unselfish”.
Strength and stamina: Takraw is an all-round excellent player. He is strong both in attack and defence. He is quick and can cross the ball well. He is not as tall as some of the other forwards but he makes up for it by being extremely strong and powerful.
The best players from Pakistan are always chosen for international tournaments where the best players are chosen to represent their country. The selection process of the PCB is a well-liked one in Pakistan.
The whole process is controlled by the PCB who choose players based on their performances. Takraw is one of those players who have been selected in the past for the national team and has always impressed the selectors with his efforts.
The fans of Pakistan are always seen enjoying his presence. He is popular among the fans for his hard-working attitude and ability to give a hundred percent on the field. Every player needs to perform to be able to succeed in the game.
When you are playing in the international arena, you need to make sure that your game is up to the mark and you are giving your 100% every time. Takraw certainly does this for the PCB.