KUALA LUMPUR, 6 Aug – Malaysia’s 18-year-old Luqman Hakim Shamsudin took his first step towards a professional football career in Europe on Thursday when he signed a five-year contract with Belgian first division club KV Kortrijk.
The signing ceremony took place at the Berjaya Hotel in Kuala Lumpur which was witnessed by Malaysian tycoon, Tan Sri Vincent Tan who owns the Belgian club.
Vincent also owns Cardiff City which plies its football trade in the English Championships. Cardiff City narrowly missed promotion to the English Premier League.
For the record, Belgium is ranked No 1 in the FIFA ranking list and is certainly a big, big Test for Luqman who hails from Kota Bharu, Kelantan.
The budding striker, however, will have his hands full playing in the Belgium League which is known as Jupiler Pro League. More so when he could not even break into the Selangor senior team that plays in the Malaysian Super League.
No doubt he has found a place in the National Under-19 squad for the Asian Championships  which are scheduled to be held in Tashkent in October.
Feeling honored and getting the opportunity to play in Europe is one thing but it is no guarantee that Luqman will succeed where others like Nazmi Faiz Mansor, Akmal Rizal Rakhli failed miserably.
Only time will tell if Luqman will be homesick like them and miss his Nasi Lemak, Roti Canai, Nasi Dagang or Asam Pedas.
For now, it is a big break for Luqman and let us pray that succeeds where others failed.
Let us hope that he will keep Malaysia’s flag flying despite his small physique and match his bigger sized teammates and opponents.
It is a journey of thousand steps for Luqman who is determined to make good in Belgium.

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