Rozaimi Abdul Rahman (born 6th October 1992), who hails from Bongawan, Sabah, currently plays football as a midfielder for Harimau Muda A on loan from his home state.
At the time of writing, he has 1 senior cap, the 28th April 2012 friendly appearance against Sri Lanka, where Malaysia won 6-0 (he didn’t score).
He made heads turn during the 2013 AFC Under-22 Asian Cup qualification held in mid 2012, when he became top scorer, with 10 goals in 5 matches. For the record, Malaysia finished 3rd in its group, with 3 wins and 2 losses, and failed to advance.
Rozaimi didn’t score in the 2-3 loss to South Korea, scored 4 goals (one penalty) in the 7-0 win over the Philippines, 2 goals in the 4-2 win over Chinese Taipei, a hattrick in the 3-0 win over Vietnam, and a penalty in the 1-2 loss to hosts Myanmar.
John Duerden of ESPN Soccernet compiled a list entitled “Top Ten Asian Players of 2012” and published it on 27th December 2012, where he included Rozaimi, the only Malaysian in the list, with the following description:
The 20-year-old’s first appearance in the national team shirt came against Chelsea and the confidence in his play caught the eye of the coaching staff of the European champions. He then scored ten goals in five games in an ultimately unsuccessful qualification campaign for the Asia’s Under-22 championships and the hype machine started to roll. Sometimes, though, that can be a good thing and Rahman is one of a new generation of Malaysian players who not only look good, they know they are good and want to show their talents on the biggest of stages.
In an earlier article published 7th July 2012, Duerden wrote about him:
When your first two appearances in the shirt of your national team are against Chelsea and Syria then you get an inkling that the career is going to be an interesting one. The 20-year-old took the qualification campaign by storm.
Six goals in the first two games caused clubs in the Netherlands and France to take notice and watch in the next game against Vietnam. He grabbed a hat-trick and more European attention. “What can I say about Rozaimi?” coach Ong Kim Swee said, asking the question on millions of Malaysian lips. “He is an asset to the team and the country and it’s very difficult to find a striker who can score consistently in three or four games. His performance is a very good sign for youth development in the country.”
I’d say congratulations to Rozaimi for making the list, but now for the downside:
- the list was compiled by one person. A truly good list will be something like what FIFA does, surveying as many reputable coaches, sports writers / journalists, fellow footballers
- Son Heung-min, the South Korean footballer who plays for German
Bundesliga side Hamburger SV should be in the list
- ditto for Japanese players in the Bundesliga like Kiyotake & Uchida
- Arguably, Keisuke Honda should be in the list too
Note: Rozaimi didn’t make the Malaysian squad for the AFF Cup due to injury.