Fandi's family are the incredibles

LionsXII coach Fandi Ahmad.

SINGAPORE - Fandi Ahmad already knows that I find the man deeply irritating.

He's far too kind and humble.

Mention Fandi to any taxi driver and he'll say, "Fandi… so humble," like it's his last name.

It's not enough that Singapore's favourite footballing son is Mr Humble, he also happens to be remarkably handsome.

I know I'd feel a little better if he looked like the back of a bus.

But he doesn't. He's prettier than most of my previous girlfriends.

So he's good looking, kind and humble. Oh, and he could also kick a ball around a bit and score the odd goal.

So much so that he is the first Singaporean footballer to have his own waxwork figure at Madame Tussauds.

I've never really known a footballer who was a waxwork figure. But I have known footballers who've played like waxwork figures.

As a child, I had a season ticket at Upton Park. Back then, West Ham were a Waxwork 11.

But Fandi has the lot; prodigious talent, humility, good looks and a waxwork figure with more pace and movement than Manchester United's back four.

And then, as if the man didn't already have enough, his eldest son Irfan is named as one of The Guardian's 40 best young talents in world football.

It must be every father's dream to have a son named as one of the 40 best young talents in world football.

My dad had similar hopes for me. But I didn't even make the 40 best young football talents in my class (and half of them were girls).

Occasionally, a parent can pass down his finest sporting attributes. My father had a fine left foot and played the odd blinder for Leyton Orient's youth team.

I had two left feet and played like I was blindfolded.

Of course, Fandi can't just have one offspring with jaw-dropping potential. Oh no. He has to have all five children blessed with sporting gifts.

His second son, Ikhsan, is also making progress with Irfan at top Chilean club Universidad Catolica.

Fandi's youngest boys are no slouches with a ball at their feet either and their sister Iman is not only a fine sprinter but was also recently awarded Miss Popularity and New Look Miss Fashionista at The New Paper New Face 2014.

What the hell do these folks put on their breakfast cereal? Is it legal? More importantly, where can I buy it for my daughter?

When the Fandis get together for a family meal, it must be like a scene from The Incredibles.

Frankly, I'd be extremely disappointed if they didn't all wear red capes and arrive for dinner via a fireman's pole.

They are a Singaporean family of superheroes. When they are spotted in the street, the neighbours must shout: "Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's the Fandis all heading to FairPrice."

If the family's genes were examined under a microscope, I'm pretty sure they'd be extremely attractive, playing keepy-uppy and strutting down that double helix DNA structure like it was a catwalk.

These guys don't bother with a mechanic when the car needs fixing. Like that scene in Superman, the kids lift the car up, Fandi rips out the old engine, passes it to Wendy (Jacobs) and she hands him a new one.

What a formidable family. Insanely talented, annoyingly attractive and ludicrously humble, the Fandis are fine parental and sporting role models (and, if the football-catwalk model thing doesn't work out, possible crime fighters).

They remind us that skills and experience can be passed down to give our children a chance of following in our footsteps.

So my daughter knows that if she works hard, then she could also grow up to be a really crap footballer.

npsports@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on October 27, 2014.
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