KUALA LUMPUR: Forward N. Thanabalan not only wants to score goals like the late-Mokhtar Dahari but also aims to have a well-built body like the former great.
Mokhtar’s strength and well-defined leg muscles helped him score many incredible goals in the 1970s and 80s.
Although, Malaysia have produced several great forwards over the years, none have managed to come close to SuperMokh’s scoring exploits and achievements.
Thanabalan could be the next Mokhtar if he continues to progress accordingly as a player.
Despite being his team’s top scorer with four goals in the Sea Games, Thanabalan said he is still an incomplete forward.
“I still got a lot to learn in football. I need to add muscles and also build my leg strength and also endurance. My technique is also not at an optimum level yet,” Thanabalan told Timesport yesterday.
“These elements are important for a forward in order to be successful in international matches. Scoring four goals to become the Sea Games joint top scorer is dream. It is a good start but I need to work harder.
“Age is on my side. I am only 22-years-old and there is still time for me to improve in all aspects. I want to be a successful forward and help the country attain successes internationally.”
On the defeat to Thailand on Tuesday, Thanabalan said his team played their best Sea Games match in the final.
“We created a lot of chances. Thailand won due to our mistake...they did not create and score that goal. Our performance here is a good stepping stone for next year’s AFC Under-23 Championship in China,” said the Felcra player.
Thanabalan said his father, S. Nadarajah, who is paralysed from the chest down following a road accident in 2013, decided to watch the final from home in Seremban Jaya.
“My father really wanted to come and join other family members at Shah Alam Stadium. However, he decided to watch it from home as he cannot sit for too long due to his problem.
“However, my other family members, 40 of them, were in the stadium yesterday supporting the national team. It is okay...I am sure my dad will attend some of my matches in the future.
“After the final, my father consoled me and said the team played very well and there was no reason to be upset. He told me to continue working hard,” Thanabalan added.