Having already visited Bangkok and Singapore, the AFF Mitsubishi Electric Cup 2022 Trophy Tour is due to arrive in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday, October 22 as the preparation for the eagerly awaited tournament in December and January continues.

Malaysia stars Norshahrul Idlan, Mahali Jasuli and Shahrom Kalam, along with VIPS and officials from the title sponsor Mitsubishi Electric, will be present at the free-to-attend event at the Empire Subang in Subang Jaya, Selangor, while a training clinic will also be held at the X Park Sunway South Key just a few kilometres away.

With the Trophy Tour’s arrival in Malaysia, we’re shining the spotlight on the Harimau Malaya players from previous editions, from those who were part of the legendary championship-winning team of 2010 to others who have helped the side reach a further three finals.

Below are five players who have excelled in Southeast Asia’s most prestigious tournament and we’re asking you, the fans, to vote for your favourite to be in with a chance of winning one of five signed Malaysia jerseys.

To enter the competition, make sure to create an account after placing your vote.

Sanbagamaran blazes a trail

K Sanbagamaran is one name that is deeply engraved into the AFF Championship lore. He not only netted the first-ever goal in the inaugural competition, but can also boast of the tournament’s first-ever hat-trick – with Malaysia’s fortunes closely linked with his goals from the midfield in the 1996 edition.

In the curtain raiser against hosts Singapore at a full-throated National Stadium in Kallang, a 24-year-old Sanbagamaran sent the Malaysian supporters into a frenzy after running down with the ball from a long way up the pitch, beating his marker Kadir Yahaya and slotting into the goal with perfection.


Though they settled for a point from that opener, arguably Sanbagamaran’s best moment came three days later – this time in a 7-0 win over the Philippines. The Selangor forward once again broke the deadlock arriving in the box to drill in a cross in the 36th minute before heading in his second just past the hour mark before tapping in a Shamsurin Abdul Rahman cross for his treble with one minute to play.

He went on to open the Harimau Malaya’s scoring in a 6-0 group stage win over Brunei Darussalam before again scoring the opener in the 3-1 win over Indonesia in the semi-final as Malaysia took the runner-up medal in the maiden championship and their star man finished second in the scoring charts.

Safee’s knockout round heroics

There was no stopping the force that was Safee Sali in the knockout rounds of the 2010 AFF Championship. It was his goalscoring prowess that powered Malaysia to their maiden ASEAN crown that year defeating a strong Indonesia side to whom they had lost 5-1 to begin their group stage campaign.

The Malaysians were under the cosh from Vietnam in the semi-final first leg when Safee, having had a quiet group stage campaign, decided it was his time to shine. His glancing header on the hour mark slipped through the gloves of Bui Tan Truong to break the deadlock before his second later in the match sealed the 2-0 aggregate win.

The 26-year-old Selangor forward replicated his form in front of goal in the title showdown too, scoring the Harimau Malaya’s opener against Indonesia in Kuala Lumpur and then sealing the 3-0 first leg win with a majestic header to mean his side travelled to Indonesia with one hand on the trophy.

Malaysia’s No. 10 also netted in the 2-1 second leg victory in Jakarta denying an unlikely Indonesian fightback and securing his country’s first-ever Southeast Asian title as well as the Top Scorer accolade. Safee would go on to score in four consecutive AFF Championships, but it is fair to say he will be remembered most for the goals he netted in the 2010 edition.  

Hard work pays off for Norshahrul

Norshahrul Idlan has been a vital cog in all three Malaysian squads that reached the final of the AFF Championship in the last decade. He also has the enviable record of scoring for the Harimau Malaya in four different AFF Championships.

However, the striker’s biggest contribution in the tournament did not come in the token of goals, but it was his workrate and hunger to win back possession that came in handy as Malaysia went on to win the coveted silverware for the very first time in 2010.


His teammate Safee Sali might have hogged all the limelight in the glory, but Norshahrul not only scored twice in the group stage, but played big parts in the crucial goals in the final against Indonesia. With the first leg goalless after an hour, Norshahrul stole possession from Maman Abdurahman who was shepherding the ball out of play near the corner flag and crossed it to an unmarked Safee to break the deadlock.

The Kelantan forward, once again after some fine work, found Ashari Samsudin in the middle to make it 2-0 seven minutes later and send K Rajagobal’s side on their way to a maiden title that they won on the back of a 4-2 aggregate win. He did not find his name on the scoresheet on the occasion, but Norshahrul had his name written firmly in the history books after that fine display.

Safiq leads by example

Perhaps captaining your nation to a major international title could be the highest point in any footballer’s career. But you could argue in Safiq Rahim’s case that it was not the victorious 2010 AFF Championship, but the one four years later that underlined his qualities as a captain and a leader in Malaysian football.

The Johor Darul Ta’zim star went on to have a fruitful 2014 tournament – his six-goal haul guiding Dollah Salleh’s side into the final and making him the first midfielder to win the top goalscorer award at the AFF Championship.

Safiq opened his 2014 account in Malaysia’s 3-2 defeat to Thailand in the group stage. Needing a win in their final group fixture to reach the knockouts, Malaysia were pegged back to 1-1 by Singapore with seven minutes left, but it was Safiq who scored from the penalty spot and set up a 3-1 win for the Tigers.

The 27-year-old was again on mark from the spot in a 2-1 semi-final first-leg defeat to Vietnam in Shah Alam, before he then scored from 12 yards again as Malaysia mounted an incredible comeback to win 5-4 on aggregate. Though his two strikes in the second leg of the final against Thailand did not deliver a second title for Malaysia, Safiq’s 2014 campaign is one that can only be looked back on with awe.

Safawi’s youthful brilliance

Malaysia’s best performance at the AFF Championship in recent years came in 2018 when they reached the tournament’s final where they narrowly lost out to Vietnam, and it was winger Safawi Rasid, just 21 years of age, who was the driving force for Tan Cheng Hoe’s side during that tournament.

The JDT attacker started all but one game for Malaysia – a 2-0 defeat to Vietnam in the group stage – and proved to be a nuisance for the opposition defences with his pace, trickery and a left foot that could do serious damage if given time and space in the final third.


It was with that pace that he drew a foul from Myanmar’s Soe Moe Kyaw and earned his side a penalty in a 3-0 win in their final group fixture. But his greatest moment of the tournament came in the first leg of the final in Kuala Lumpur when he planted a free kick from the edge of the box in the goal as Malaysia came from two goals down to hold Vietnam 2-2.

Though the Harimau Malaya lost the second leg 1-0, Safawi’s displays in the national team colours gave plenty of hope for the future. He returned to the competition to become the joint top scorer in the 2020 edition with four goals despite his side's group stage exit, and will be hoping to make an even bigger impact this time around – still only 25 years old.


We are giving out 5 signed jerseys to 5 lucky winners. Cast your vote above and create an account with us in order to be eligible to win one of the signed jerseys. The 5 lucky winners will be contacted through email on the 21st of October (5pm Malaysia Time). Winners will be asked to claim their prize at the Malaysia Trophy Tour location on 22 October from 2pm - 5pm.

Eligibility: Contest only available for fans in Malaysia.

Malaysia Trophy Tour address: Empire Shopping Gallery in Subang Jaya, Selangor

Good luck to all contestants!