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Road to J.League - Safawi Rasid

03:07 GMT 03/01/2022
Who among the 12 outstanding talents from Southeast Asia has what it takes to upgrade to the J.League?

The ‘Road To J.League’ campaign will run from Jan 2 to Jan 19 which gives you the opportunity to vote for the player you think will most likely make the step up to the best league in Asia.

One of the players with huge potential is Malaysia’s very own Safawi Rasid, the undeniable star of Harimau Malaya (Malayan Tiger) whose performances in the past few years makes him an ideal candidate to make the giant leap.

Starting out with T-Team in 2015, Safawi’s rise to prominence was rapid and sharp with prominent performances as a wide attacker in the unfashionable club when he was just 18 years old.

His attacking prowess quickly earned him a big-money move to Malaysia Super League champions Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) in 2017 and the Dungun-born left footer has been improving year on year.

The wider audience will remember his exploits with JDT in the AFC Champions League including scoring an incredible curving shot from distance against Shandong Luneng in the 2019 season which was voted AFC Champions League Goal of the Decade.

Who can forget the magnificent brace he scored to lead Malaysia to a 2-0 win over South Korea in the 2018 Asian Games that had Tottenham Hotspur star Son Heung-min in their ranks.

The 2019 season saw Safawi hitting great heights with 20 goals scored for JDT and another six for Malaysia, which ultimately opened the door for him to be signed on loan by Portuguese Primeira Liga side, Portimonense in October of 2020.

While the move was a short-lived one with game time hard to come by, Safawi remains steadfast in his determination to keep improving and have recently scored four goals in four matches for Malaysia in the AFF Championship held in Singapore.

A dynamic player capable of operating on both sides of the flanks but would prefer to cut in from the right, Safawi would offer attacking and goal scoring threat for any team in the J.League but perhaps at this stage would be more suited to a newly promoted side like Jubilo Iwata or Kyoto Sanga.

Think Safawi has what it takes to play in the J.League? Cast your vote here.