New Delhi: Until some time back, Mohamad Faiz Subri was just an ordinary football player in Malaysia. But since scoring a screamer for Penang state in the Malaysian Super League in February, he has become a celebrity in his own rights.
And on Friday, the 29-year-old has beaten the likes of Lionel Messi and Neymar to make the finals of FIFA's shortlist for top three goals of the year.
The footage of his free-kick – a viciously swerving goal from around 35 yards – has gone viral, making him an instant sensation.
Ten FIFA Puskas Award 2016 finalists, chosen from thousands of goals scored around the world between September 2015 and September 2016, were revealed last month.
Brazil's Marlone and Venezuela's woman footballer Stephanie Roche are the other two finalists.
The other losing candidates, besides the Barcelona pair, are Mario Gasper of Spain, Hlompho Kekana of South Africa, Saul Niguez of Spain, Hal Robson-Kanu of Wales and Simon Skrabb of Findland.
Here's the video:
The winner will be announced at the annual FIFA gala on January 9 in Zurich. Win or not, he will share the stage with the who's who of world football, including Messi.