Mahathir could possibly be S'pore football's next trailblazer

Mahathir could possibly be S'pore football's next trailblazer
Mahathir Azeman (centre), with his mother after arriving at Changi Airport last Monday, is willing to take a chance and mix it with the big boys.

SINGAPORE - Mahathir Azeman is 17 years old and can already speak a smattering of Portuguese.

I wonder if Hariss Harun ever will.

Last Wednesday night, the Singapore Under-18 footballer was a guest of the Brazilian ambassador to Singapore, Luis Fernando de Andrade Serra, at a party to celebrate the South American nation's independence day at Shangri-La Hotel.

Mahathir returned home on Monday after a five-month stint at Boavista, a professional football club based in rio de Janeiro.

Training and playing in the Under- 17s under the watchful eyes of coaches like former Dutch star Clarence Seedorf, he impressed enough to earn a one-year contract to play for Boavista's reserves, the team below the club's senior professional side.

He will complete his O Levels next month before returning to Boavista, probably in December.

While Singapore's most talented midfielder Hariss, 23, recently rejected the chance to join top-flight Portuguese side rio Ave in a shock decision, Mahathir continues to pursue his dream of playing professional football in a worldclass arena.

The young attacking midfielder is clearly developing as a footballer. He now wears the No. 10 at Boavista.

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