Foreign Tigers: How did Malaysia fare under previous imported coaches?

Portugal’s Nelo Vingada, Malaysia’s first foreign coach in 12 years, takes charge of his first match against Lebanon at Larkin Stadium on June 13. Vijhay Vick looks at how Harimau Malaya have fared the previous five times foreign expertise was in charge.

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Bertalan Bicskei, Malaysia coach 2004-2005

  • Matches: 16
  • Win: 8
  • Losses: 7
  • Draws: 1
  • Win Ratio: 50%
  • Loss Ratio: 43.75%

Bicskei arrived in July 2004 and was tasked with seeing out three remaining World Cup qualifying matches – which ended in defeats to China, Hong Kong and Kuwait – and the 2004 AFF Championship, then known as the Tiger Cup.

The Hungarian’s tenure began in promising fashion as Malaysia recorded a win against neighbouring Thailand in a friendly.

He dropped several senior players such as Hairuddin Omar, Tengku Hazman Raja Hassan and Eddie Helmi Abdul Manan for the AFF tournament as the co-hosts used a largely inexperienced side rocked by the unavailability of poachers Akmal Rizal Rakhli and Nizaruddin Yusof.


Malaysia finished a commendable third in the tournament with striker Khalid Jamlus scoring six goals, one short of tournament top-scorer Ilham Jaya Kesuma of runners-up Indonesia.

His time came to an end just six months later, however, after he lost his cool in a friendly against Singapore in Georgetown in June 2005.

Unhappy with the officiating, Bicskei threw a bottle onto the pitch before pushing a Singaporean player. He almost instantly was demoted to the Malaysia Under-23 squad and was subsequently sacked in September.

He passed away in his hometown of Budapest on July 16, 2011.