Exclusive: Brazil stint shaped the footballer in me – Kumaahran

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For most 19 year-olds in Malaysia, playing professional football would already be a dream that’s difficult to accomplish, for a variety of reasons.

S. Kumaahran though, besides making big strides with the national U-23 side, was called up national team head coach Dollah Salleh, before being handed a short cameo against English Premier League side Liverpool.

This represents a major shift in Kumaahran’s career – and it isn’t entirely surprising.

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Three years ago, the Penang-based Kumaahran traveled to Brazil for a three-months stint with Cruzeiro Esporte Clube, a famous football team that produced the likes of Ronaldo. But while his stint was ultimately cut short by an injury, Kumaahran claims that the entire experience played a pivotal part in shaping him into the footballer he is today.

“Yes, it was extremely helpful,” Kumaahran told FourthOfficial.com

“To be a footballer, you’ve got to train hard and be discplined. Most of the things I learned over there and the training I underwent, still helps me till today,” he added.

The Harimau Muda forward received a late call-up from Dollah Salleh and did not make the starting line-up, with Charles Souza and Patrick Wleh favoured over him.

Photo Credit: NST
Photo Credit: NST

But with less than 15 minutes left on the clock, Kumaahran was introduced in place of Charles –  something that Kumaahran claims he’ll treasure for a lifetime.

“I felt really honoured to be able to represent the senior team against such a huge club from the Premier League. Of course, the excitement was there, but I was more anxious to perform well and justify Coach Dollah’s trust in me.

“Not everyone gets the opportunity to play against Liverpool, so I’m happy that I made use of the chance and did my best,” he added

While Kumaahran may have only had a short cameo appearance against the Reds, national team head coach Dollah Salleh was visibly happy with his performance.

“I didn’t expect him to do well, as I only introduced him in the second half. But he proved me wrong. At the end of the day, every player has to fight for their spot in the national team,” Dollah told Bernama.