Q&A with Raf Yaakob, the Manchester United fan club president

Manchester United Malaysian Fan Club president Raf Yaakob speaks to FourFourTwo about his love for the Red Devils, his hatred for United’s two big rivals and his association with adidas. 

When you think football, which team and brand do you first think of and why?

Manchester United … because it was the first football club that caught my attention back in 1991. How? I read in the newspapers about a young player called Ryan Giggs. I read that he’s a left footed winger, just like me. Since then I've been watching lots and lots of Manchester United games, just to watch the United legendary No.11, Ryan Giggs.

My favourite brand is definitely adidas. Because it was the first pair of expensive football boots I've ever owned. My late father bought me the adidas Predator as a birthday gift back in 1992.

When someone says Malaysian football, what comes to mind?

Arwah Mokhtar Dahari also known as SuperMokh because my late father used to tell me a lot about him. JDT too! I grew up supporting Kedah as my late father is from Alor Setar but I also followed JDT closely ever since TMJ (Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim) got involved.

I admire how JDT have set up and run their Football Association. It will surely benefit the football league and also Malaysia national team in the long run.

How did you become Manchester United Malaysian Fan Club president?

I've been a normal member of MyManUtd since 2012. I often joined their activities such as the Match Viewing and football matches.

I begin my role as Vice President in 2014 and when the current President stepped down in 2015, club members voted me as the club's new President. It was later on endorsed and approved by MUFC UK.

What are your expectation of Manchester United this season and is Jose Mourinho the right manager?

My expectation for United this season is to win at least one Cup and qualify for the Champions League.

They have just won the Carling Cup and are now on the right track to win the Europa League as well so I am very pleased.

In the EPL meanwhile, I'm hoping that United finishes at least third. I am a big fan of Jose Mourinho since his Porto time.

I like the way he uses his players and he's not afraid to do dramatic changes during the game to win.

He's also good at grooming average players to become a world beaters and know how to use players despite some critics claiming some players were over their peak. Yes, I'm talking about Zlatan Ibrahimovic … I'm sure you could have guessed it.  

Which set of opposing fans do you hate the most?

Liverpool because they can’t stop talking about their history. I can't remember the last time they won the league, honestly.

Manchester City too because most of their fans are like glory hunters and they can't accept United are still the best team in Manchester despite not winning major trophies for the last few seasons. Manchester is always Red.

adidas became Manchester United shirt sponsor in 2016, what was your reaction?

It was definitely one of the best news I’ve heard since the first day I supported United, because I am an adidas's freak from the beginning of my football career.

adidas have always been my choice of football boots and sporting attire since the day I began to kick a ball about 25 years ago.

I am also very lucky indeed to be one of the chosen adidas Malaysia Influencers. It's like a dream come true to an adidas lover like me.

What is your preferred adidas football/futsal footware choice and which line of shoes?

At the moment I'm wearing adidas Ace17. I’m in love with Ace17 Pure Control Laceless football boots. The best football boots I've ever owned.

On the street I like to wear Yeezy, NMD, Stan Smith collection and the latest one, EQT.

This interview was organised courtesy of Adidas. For more information, visit the official Malaysia adidas online store by following this link. You can also go to facebook.com/adidasfootball or follow adidas football on Twitter @adidasfootball to join the conversation.

Photos: adidas