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Asia 50: Five Malaysians that could make it next year

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2. R. Gopinathan – Selangor

If this 26-year-old winger can replicate his club form for the national team, he will be among the first names in Malaysia coach Ong Kim Swee’s line-up.

R. Gopinathan, who has made a smooth transition at new club Selangor, has yet to grab his chances at international level and did not even make Ong’s previous squad in March.

Yet Gopinathan is the highest scoring Malaysian in the 2016 MSL with four goals from seven matches and has performed consistently for the Red Giants thus far.

The Kuantan-born player was part of Pahang’s feared attacking force over the last couple of seasons and even attracted interest from the Southern Tigers at the end of the 2014 season. Gopinathan’s bursting pace down the flanks often leaves defenders dead in their tracks and if he continues his current progress he could be right in the frame for Asia 50 2017.