Singapore Sportstar Spotlight: Irfan Fandi, Football
To commemorate International Day of Sport for Development and Peace (6 Apr) which recognises the role that sport and physical activity plays in communities and in people’s lives across the world, we kick off this new "Singapore Sportstar Spotlight" series on Wonderwall.sg.
In this series, we focus our attention on local sporting talent doing the nation proud with their achievements in various sports. Here, we zero in on Irfan Fandi, who is stepping out of his dad's shadow and blazing his own trail in the Beautiful Game.
Talk about the apple not falling far from the tree!
Character Bio: Irfan Fandi is a professional footballer who represents the Singapore national team and plays for Thai League 1 club BG Pathum United, which is generally regarded as the toughest football league in Southeast Asia. The eldest son of local football legend Fandi Ahmad has excelled as the club's towering defender, and, oh, he's also only 23!
Achievement Unlocked: Irfan recently became the first Singaporean to win a championship in Thailand's top league. He was key to his club's title victory, helping the defence to keep 15 clean sheets over the course of the season. That means no one could score past this man in those games. You shall not pass!
Back in 2016, Irfan turned down a four-year contract offer from Chilean side Club Deportivo Universidad Catolica in favour of returning to Singapore to fulfil his NS obligations.
While serving the nation, he represented local outfit Home United and also turned out for the Singapore national team, including making his debut at the regional AFF Championship.
Level Up: A bonafide star here in Singapore, and a recent champion in Thailand, Irfan is now setting his sights on playing football on a bigger stage.
"I've learnt to keep my head down and just work hard, and I'm thankful and honoured to represent Singapore, create this slice of history and also uphold our family name," Irfan said in an interview after his title win.
Whether it is playing in Japan, South Korea or even Europe, the sky's the limit for this talented youngster.