By Khalis Rifhan
Thirty years ago, Singapore’s favourite footballing son made the journey to Europe and mesmerised fans in the Dutch first division with FC Gronigen with his mazy runs and sublime touches, famously scoring against Italian giants Inter Milan in the then-UEFA Cup.
Fast forward to 2013, where Fandi Ahmad's two eldest boys Irfan Fandi, 15, and brother Ikhsan, 13, have been presented with an opportunity of a lifetime after both were offered a place in the youth team of Spanish second division outfit Hercules CF following a succesful trial.
Fandi confirmed to Goal.com Singapore that his sons have received a concrete offer, but said that he has yet to look at it and will only do so once they return from Spain.
“Yes, they have told me about the offer but I have yet to see my sons," said Fandi.
"They are back on Monday afternoon but I was busy preparing my team (Johor Darul Takzim) for a friendly against Hougang United.
“I will definitely will go through the offer with them and make a decision soon.”
Should the duo decide to take up the offer, they will join the likes of Bryan Neubronner and Ahmad Hakimputra as the only Singaporean footballers to ply their trade in Europe.
2010 Youth Olympic Games bronze medalist Neubronner signed a two-year contract one year ago with SSV Ulm 1864, a fifth-tier club in Germany, to play for their Under-19 side while striker Hakimputra is contracted to the youth team of Hungarian Division One club Kaposvari Rakoczi FC.
Fandi Ahmad was speaking after Darul Takzim’s friendly match against Singapore side Hougang United at the Tan Sri Dato Haji Hassan Yunos Stadium in Larkin, Johor Bahru.
The Southern Tigers cruised to a comfortable 3-0 victory over the Cheetahs courtesy of a brace from 22-year-old Mohd Azinee Taib and a goal from captain Safiq Rahim.
The hosts were missing their national team stars, who are on international duty with Malaysia as they prepare for the upcoming 2015 AFC Asian Cup qualifiers.
Malaysia is scheduled to take on 2007 AFC Asian Cup champions Iraq in a friendly match in Dubai on February 6 before they head over to Doha for their qualifier against Qatar six days later.