JOHOR BAHRU, Feb 10 – ”Welcome Home SR8. 8 for mission 8” wrote Johor Darul Takzim club owner Major General Tunku Ismail Ibni Sultan Ibrahim on the club Instagram – and it is enough to spell out the Southern Tigers mission in the new season.
After plying his football trade with Melaka United for two years, former international Safiq Rahim is back with seven-time Malaysian Super League champions Johor Darul Takzim (JDT) to finish off some unfinished business.
The 34-year-old Selangor-born was unveiled as JDT’s latest addition to the already heavily-laden football talent in the south.
Safiq is no stranger to JDT having donned JDT colors from 2013 to 2018 before moving to Melaka (2019-2020).
During his previous stint with the Southern Tigers the midfielder who is known as a free-kick specialist, had won five Super League titles (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018), apart from winning the Malaysia Cup (2017), the FA Cup (2016) and the Charity Shield in 2015, 2016 and 2018.
In 2015 he skippered JDT to the AFC Cup title after a 1-0 win over FC Istiklol at the Pamir Stadium in Dushanbe, Tajikistan – a first for the Malaysian team.
Without a doubt, JDT wants to take its game to a higher level and is Malaysia’s hope in the AFC Champions League and Safiq fits the bill as a key pillar in the team coached by Mexican coach Benjamin Mora.
His arrival has set the JDT fans abuzz. Safiq was unveiled a day after naturalized Malaysian international Mohamadou Sumareh was introduced as JDT’s new signing.
The new football season is scheduled to kick off on March 5 with JDT taking on Kedah for the Charity Shield.
The curtain raiser will be played at the Sultan Ibrahim Stadium in Iskandar Puteri and will also count towards the league.