Football: A toast to Mahathir Azeman

Football: A toast to Mahathir Azeman
Mahathir Azeman (far right) shaking hands with Mr Hawazi Daipi while ambassador Luis Fernando de Andrade Serra (second from left) and consular officer Nelson Portillo look on.

SINGAPORE - September 7 marks the day Brazil gained independence.

It is a national holiday that continues to be celebrated across the country with various displays of patriotism.

On Wednesday, the Shangri-La Hotel played host to Brazil's 191st national day celebration in Singapore, but it was a local boy who edged his way into a share of the limelight.

Singaporean teenager Mahathir Azeman returned from Rio de Janeiro on Monday after a successful five-month spell with the Under-17 squad of Brazilian club side Boavista.

The 17-year-old did well enough to lay claim to the No.10 shirt at Boavista and earn himself a one-year contract extension to play in the reserve team of the club's professional side next year.

In recognition of his achievement, Brazil's ambassador to Singapore, Luis Fernando de Andrade Serra, invited Mahathir to last Wednesday night's party.

"This is something very new for both Brazil and Singapore, and it helps matters that (the boy) is doing very well, and the evidence is there for all to see," said the ambassador.

"He is wearing the No. 10 shirt, and that means something in Brazil, only the most talented players get to wear that shirt."

Mahathir will sit for his 'O' Level examinations in the next two months before a return to Boavista, which is pencilled in for December.

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