He wanted the perfect send-off but even Fahrudin Mustafic would admit to not expecting the huge amount of fans that came down to give him one last hurrah.
Indeed it was a testament that football fans over the years appreciated the service he gave to Singapore and its football over the years. And what an atmosphere those fans created inside the stadium as they cheered on their outgoing hero with intensity.
For Mustafic or Farra as he is affectionately known, this was a match he once said he dreaded because it would signal the end of a glorious career draped in success. Serbia was where he was born at but Singapore had been Farra’s home for more than a decade.
And when you are at home, you will often be surrounded by loved ones. For Farra his loved ones would be his past and present teammates from the national team and his beloved Tampines Rovers. Indra Shahdan, Noh Alam Shah, Baihakki Khaizan, Khairul Amri and Hariss Harun were some of the players that took part in Farra’s testimonial.
These were players who shared the ups and downs of his time as a footballer and now it all came to an end. On the other hand in the match, the fans were treated to Farra’s excellent execution from the penalty spot one last time, bringing back memories of how this particular skill perfected by him, managed to yield unbridled success for Singapore.
As the testimonial match came to an end, the 37-year-old was presented with gifts from his loyal fans and also FAS (Football Association of Singapore) while the crowd gave him a standing ovation. Farra’s emotions became visible when giving his speech to the crowd as he struggled to hold back his tears.
“It’s difficult to talk now and it’s really emotional now. Playing so many years for country and club and to have all the friends and so many people turn up.”
“I honestly didn’t expect this much but it just shows how people appreciate what I did making it even more difficult to leave the game but in the end I would just like to thank everybody,” said the midfielder when asked how he felt after the match.
Fahrudin may like to thank everybody who came down to support him but in actual fact it is the fans that would like to thank him. For sticking by Singapore football throughout the years and experiencing the highs and lows together. He may be Serbian by birth but he is Singaporean by heart. Thank you Farra for you will be dearly missed.