The race for the 2016 MSL Golden Boot

Foreign strikers have dominated the goal-scoring charts since Malaysian football reopened its doors to import players in 2012. Vijhay Vick takes a look at potential golden boot winners in 2016 and expects more of the same.

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No local has come close to the goal scoring exploits of Francis Forkey Doe, Marlon Alex James or Paulo Rangel, so for the purposes of reality, no Malaysians were considered for this award. The truth is many will struggle for playing time.

Last year’s Malaysia Super League (MSL) charts saw Dramane Traore lead the pack with 20 goals, followed by Matias Conti (12), Luciano Figueroa (12), Ali Ashfaq (10) and Billy Mehmet (10).

Selangor’s Afiq Azmi – now at second-tier side Negri Sembilan – was the only Malaysian in the top 10 with eight goals. So here we go:

Dramane Traore (Kelantan)

It was a surprise PDRM did not retain the services of this former Mali international. His 20 goals were his former club’s saving grace as a leaky defence conceded a whopping 39 goals. PDRM had their potent attack to thank for a sixth place finish.

The 33-year-old poacher was heading out of the Malaysian league but an opportunity cropped up at Kelantan, after a cash injection by new sponsors Vida Beauty enabled the 2012 treble winners to seek quality imports.

Kelantan have gradually slipped down the MSL pecking order since back-to-back titles in 2011 and 2012. The East Coast side finished fourth in 2013, sixth in 2014 and ninth last year.

Traore could continue his scoring ways if former Harimau Muda starlets Wan Zack Haikal Wan Nor and Wan Zaharulnizam Zakaria provide from the flanks.

Traore in his PDRM days. Photo: