Asia 50: Five Malaysians that could make it next year

Malaysians failed to make the cut on this year's Asia 50 list, which was dominated by European-based players, many of which hailed from Japan, South Korea and Australia. But here are five Malaysians that could be in the reckoning next year... 

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1. Safiq Rahim – Johor Darul Ta’zim

Named in FourFourTwo’s Southeast Asia Team of the Year, Safiq Rahim is the best Malaysia has to offer. He also received votes for this year’s Asia 50, but not quite enough to make the final cut.

Poor international form – with a toothless Malaysian squad nonetheless – may have weighed against the 28-year-old’s chances this time around.

Yet Safiq was a delight at club level, playing an instrumental role in the JDT's 2015 Malaysia Super League (MSL) and AFC Cup success.

Safiq was also named Most Valuable Player in Malaysian football and the AFC Cup last year. Safiq often finds his name on the scoresheet and is the current joint-top scorer of the 2016 AFC Cup with six goals from four matches.

His right foot also makes him among the most feared free-kick takers in the region.