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World Cup 2022 qualification: Why Malaysia may fail in naturalized strategy?

World Cup 2022 qualification: Why Malaysia may fail in naturalized strategy?

FAM has naturalized a series of players to strengthen the squad. This solution is considered a "shortcut" to help Malaysian to succeed. But is everything so easy?

Specifically, the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) has completed all procedures to naturalize two players Guilherme De Paula (33 years old, of Brazilian descent) and Liridon Krasniqi (28 years old, from Kosovo). Both are waiting for the approval of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) to play for Malaysia in the near future.

Additional quality strikers and midfielders

Earlier, Malaysia introduced foreign citizen Mohamadou Sumareh (Gambian) in the AFF Suzuki Cup 2018. The presence of Sumareh makes Malaysia's attacking ability more advantageous. Sumareh is one of the most vital players to help Malaysia advance to the final of the AFF Cup 2018.

World Cup 2022 qualification: Why Malaysia may fail in naturalized strategy?

But Sumareh alone is not enough to raise Malaysia's squad as the team still needs a quality midfielder and a top striker. Unable to wait for the young players to mature, FAM decided to use the instant solution of naturalizing the players. This strategy immediately received support from the press and Malaysia coach Tan Cheng Hoe.

The talent of Liridon Krasniqi helped him to be called up to the U21 squad and then to the Kosovo national team. Playing in Malaysia since 2015, Liridon Krasniqi has emerged as one of the best midfielders in the Malaysia Super League. Therefore, the naturalization of Liridon Krasniqi is considered to be Malaysia's success in trying to improve the team.

World Cup 2022 qualification: Why Malaysia may fail in naturalized strategy?

In addition to Krasniqi, Malaysia is also trying to naturalize another central midfielder, Lee Andrew Tuck (31, England) - who has played for various clubs in Thailand, Bangladesh and Malaysia. He won the Golden Boot of the Thailand League 2012 while playing for Nakhon Ratchasima. If Lee Andrew Tuck is allowed to play for Malaysia national team, the midfield of coach Tan Chang Hoe will be very strong.

According to Livesportasia source, FAM has also completed the naturalization procedure for Brazilian striker Guilherme De Paula. Playing in Malaysia since 2016, Guilherme De Paula has spent most of his time at Kuala Lumpur Club (2017-2019). Here, he showed impressive form by scoring 48 goals in just 57 matches. At the age of 33, despite his lack of pace, no level of Malaysia striker can match De Paula.

A lot of challenges

Foreign citizenship, although helping Malaysia to solve the problem of lack of the best players at the moment, is not unsure a success because of many problems. The first is the language difference between naturalized and native players. This will hinder communication on the pitch. In addition, the tactical guidance of the coach for naturalized players will certainly be more difficult.

World Cup 2022 qualification: Why Malaysia may fail in naturalized strategy?

Additionally, integrating the game with teammates takes a lot of time while the current naturalized players of Malaysia are all quite old. As a result, when foreign players are fully integrated with the new team, they may not be in good form anymore. Indonesia's failure to use naturalized players can be a lesson for Malaysian football.

Specifically, to strengthen the team, the Football Association of Indonesia (PSSI) massively naturalized a series of foreign footballers such as center-back Otavio Dutra (Brazilian origin), organization midfielder Stefano Lilipaly (Netherlands) and striker Beto Gonçalves (Brazil). But all three foreign players could not prevent Indonesia from going downhill.

World Cup 2022 qualification: Why Malaysia may fail in naturalized strategy?

3 Malaysian players were absent in the match against UAE

To prepare for the match against the UAE on March 26, Malaysia team will gather on March 15 and move to Bahrain for training and friendly matches with the national team of the country on March 21.

In the match against the UAE, Malaysia will not have three important players: Brendan Gan, Syafiq Ahmad and Matthew Davies due to suspension. However, all three players are expected to return in the match against Vietnam 5 days later.