Like father like son? Zainal, Mokhtar and Malaysia's footballing family

Professional sport is littered with youngsters who attempt to follow in their parents' often large footsteps, with varying degrees of success. Malaysian football is no different...

Football has always had a family element to it. Whether it be young fans brought to their first game by their parents, or a father and son both playing the game at professional or semi-professional level.

Here FourFourTwo looks at some of the offspring of former Malaysian footballers who are hoping to follow in the illustrious footsteps of their dads – or who tried and fell short.

1. Shafiq and Shahwan Shaharuddin, sons of Shaharuddin Abdullah

Shaharuddin Abdullah is widely regarded as one of the finest footballers to grace the Malaysian League from the late-1960s to the early-1980s.

The 68-year-old forward also played for his country and famously scored a goal in the 3-0 victory over the United States in the 1972 Munich Olympics. He was also part of Malaysia’s bronze medal-winning team at the 1974 Tehran Asian Games.

His son Shafiq made his debut for Johor Darul Ta’zim II (JDT II) in 2014, where he netted two goals in the Malaysia Cup.

Shafiq in action for JDT II. Photo: JDT

He had been promoted to JDT II after his impressive record of scoring 14 goals for the state’s youth team in the President’s Cup earlier that year.

The striker was in Ong Kim Swee’s plans for last year’s Sea Games but couldn’t play due to a delay in his registration

Last season, the 22-year scored eight times for JDT II and was called up for the AFC Under-23 qualifiers, but subsequently withdrew following a serious knee injury.

The striker was in Ong Kim Swee’s plans for last year’s SEA Games but couldn’t play due to a delay in his registration for the tournament.

As for this season, Shafiq has scored four goals for JDT II, while his younger brother Shahwan is also in the same team.

Shahwan has made one appearance for JDT II this season. The 21-year-old midfielder gets most of his match practice in the President's Cup, where he represents JDT III.

Shafiq is rated highly but until he can get enough games and score goals consistently for his club, it will be tough for him to make the step up to the national team.