Irfan Fandi, Son of Singapore’s Most Famous Football Player
Dealing with attention of being the son of Singapore’s most successful footballing son Fandi Ahmad is no enviable task in football-crazy Singapore. Factor in the choice to follow in the footsteps of his father by pursuing a career in football and voila, there’s a recipe for immense pressure and expectations. But eldest son Irfan Fandi is undaunted by the constant comparisons to his father.
The 20-year-old is instead focused on forging his own path and establishing himself as Irfan Fandi, rather than merely being the son of Fandi Ahmad.
In light of this, here are 10 must know facts about Irfan Fandi.
1. His girlfriend is a national Silat exponent
Sorry ladies, but he is off the market.
Clearly inheriting the genes of supermodel mother Wendy Jacobs, Irfan is blessed with killer good looks. Unsurprisingly, his Instagram page is filled with confessions of love and admiration by his collective of female supporters.
However, the heartthrob has already given his own heart away to national pesilat (silat exponent), Nurul Suhaila.
And Irfan’s girlfriend is equally easy on the eyes.
The two met while studying at the Singapore Sports School in 2011 and look really sweet together.
2. He’s got some moves
Aside from his moves on the pitch, Irfan clear has the talent to burn up the dance floor as well.
Here are some videos of the center back swag-ing it out.
3. He’s a 2016 Nickelodeon Kid’s Choice Awards Nominee
In an interview with Today, Irfan shared that he was “quite surprised to be awarded”. He recollects mom Wendy Jacobs telling him that he had been nominated, but initially thought that it was a joke.
(Video might seem broken, but just click and it’ll work!)
Being a Nickelodeon fan, Irfan was skeptical because knew “for a fact” that the category he was nominated for did not exist.
He was nominated along with 3 other athletes to compete for the title of Kids’ Choice “Favourite Asian Sports Star” award.
Irfan lost out to Filipino basketballer Jeron Teng, but he says he was honoured to be nominated regardless of the results.
4. He speaks Spanish
Having trained overseas after graduating from Singapore Sports School, Irfan has added Spanish to his repertoire of skills.
Here is a screenshot of Irfan posting a message in Spanish to A.C Barnechea teammates as he was about to leave the club.
Or, he just knows how to use Google Translate.
5. He was nearly a National Day baby
Irfan was born 13 Aug, just 4 days after Singapore’s National Day.
Perhaps his parents had planned for him to be National Day Baby? After all Fandi’s Ahmad family is the epitome of what it means to be a successful Singaporean.
6. He’s one of the Top 40 Young Talents in world football
You know you have talent when The Guardian lists you as one of the top 40 youngsters to look out for.
In 2014, the UK publishing company named Irfan as one global football’s potential superstars.
Irfan made the list along with current Borussia Dortmund starlet Ousmane Dembélé.
The Singapore SEA Games U22 captain was the one of two Southeast Asian players to make the list, the other being Vietnamese midfielder Phan Thanh Hau.
7. He had to shuttle 4 hours between School and Training Ground
When Irfan and younger brother Ikhsan secured their first overseas training stint in Spain, they probably didn’t know that travelling between school and Spanish club Hécules CF would be such a hassle.
In 2013, the brothers studied at Kings College, Madrid, which is nearly a 4 hour drive away from their training ground at Estadio José Rico Pérez, according to Google Maps.
To put this into perspective for Singaporeans, that is equivalent to traveling from Changi to Tuas 4 times.
Talk about dedication.
8. First Singaporean to Play In Chile’s Top Football League
While father Fandi Ahmad will be remember for being the first Singaporean to score in the UEFA Cup (now known as the Europa Cup) against Italian giants Inter Milan, Irfan’s own accolade seems to come in the form of being one of the youngest player to ever play in Chile’s top football league.
It is claimed that Irfan made his debut for Chilean sdide Club Deportivo Universidad Católica in a 4-0 win against San Luis de Quillota.
However, we could not find any official statistic to prove this and unlike Irfan, we don’t speak no español.
9. Humble and Versatile
Despite all the fame and attention Irfan gets, he remains humble and grounded. Football players on the global stage tend to have an air of arrogance about them regardless of whether they are skillful or not.
Irfan’s humility is clearly seen through his “team first” attitude. Irfan first started his football career as a striker just like his father and it remains his preferred position. However, in recent years, he has been converted into a less glamourous center back position.
Getting asked to switch positions can be an ego-bruiser, as it seems to suggest that the player is unsuitable or lacks the attributes to play there.
However, former Young Lions coach Aide Iskandar felt that Irfan’s towering height and leaping abilities would make him an excellent defender.
Irfan was quick to accept his new role as seen in the video below, a clearly sign that his does not place himself above the team.
10. He Protects Commuters
Other than defending his goal. Irfan also defends Singaporeans from terror attacks by patrolling MRT stations as part of his National Service liability. A Special Constable 2 in the Singapore Police Force, Irfan Fandi serves as part of the Transport Security Command force.
The 20-year-old is coming towards the end of his National Service liability and will soon be able to focus completely on his football career.
Flying the Singapore Flag in the 2017 Kuala Lumpur SEA Games
Irfan is currently facing a tough time leading the Singapore U22 team at 2017 Southeast Asian Games in what has proved to be a dismal campaign after two straight losses to Myanmar and host nation Malaysia.
However, Irfan has managed to lead his team to their first victory over Laos on 18 Aug.
The MustShareNews team wishes him and the rest of Team Singapore the best of luck in the remaining game.