Even though Indonesian football has yet shined these days, and even challenged by enigmatic problems such as the dualism of umbrella organisations, there are still a number of players who can still show off their talent.
The international sports site ESPN chooses one of the Indonesian football players listed in the top ten Asian Football Players 2012. Other players are Shinji Kagawa (Japan – Manchester United), Yuto Nagatomo (Japan – Inter Milan), Ali Al Habsi (Oman – Wigan Athletic), Therasil Dangda (Thailand), and footballers from UAE, South Korea and Iraq.
Who is the Indonesian footballer? No one else than Bambang Pamungkas. Bambang holds the record as the most prolific goalscorer in Indonesian national team. The Persija Jakarta city football club player has been in top performance for more than 12 years either in Indonesia or another country. He has achieved various titles, including with the Indonesian national team, Persija Jakarta, and Selangor FC Malaysia.
Bepe, that’s how Bambang is called, has also received attention from European football clubs particularly in the Netherlands. It is because of his good skills especially with the deadly heading. He is too an expert for execution in penalty area. No wonder there are more than 30 goals have been made by Bepe for the Indonesian football team only.
Despite his achievement in football fields, Bepe is a highly-respected player too. He is famous for his fair play, rarely receiving punishment cards, and having strong leadership. His lifestyle is even very modest even though for quite a long time has become the most expensive player in Indonesia.
“He has done much, even so much, for the Indonesian football,” stated ESPN. “He has become the spokesperson of footballers from Indonesia, a country that still faces huge football challenges. Bambang has shown his vision and leadership.”
Acknowledging the appreciation from ESPN, Bepe humbly said, “To be frank I never thought to be listed in that prestigious list. If what I have done is positively appreciated by foreign media, I am very grateful to it. This is a proof that Indonesian football is still highly regarded by the international community.”
Bepe indeed deserves the international appreciation as well as marks himself as one of the best Indonesian football players in history.
(DM, from various sources; photos: la-lights.com, espn.com, kumpulanfoto.net)