One of Singapore’s top central midfielders Fahrudin Mustafic has played his last professional game to put an end to an illustrious 17-year career.
The 37-year-old was sent off in Tampines Rovers’ 2-1 loss to Brunei DPMM in the Singapore Premier League (SPL) on Saturday, and announced his retirement on his Facebook page after the game.
The Serbian arrived in Singapore as a 20-year-old in 2002 to sign for Tampines Rovers and was given citizenship to don Singapore colours in 2006 under the guidance of former Lions coach Radojko Avramovic.
With more than 300 games for Tampines and 85 international appearances for Singapore, Fahrudin is widely regarded as one of the finest central midfielders to have played the game in the Lion City.
He won the S.League title in 2004 and 2005 to go with his Singapore Cup winner’s medals in 2004 and 2006. He is also a two-time AFF Suzuki Cup champion as part of the 2007 and 2012 squad during the “Raddy era”.
In what was an emotional note, Fahrudin confirmed his retirement but made it known that he is hoping to return to the game in a different capacity and give back to the game in Singapore.
Fahrudin Mustafic’s Retirement Announcement
The moment has come. Sadly, this moment arrived, even though I hoped it would never come.
I hope I can sum up all my years of up and downs, happiness and struggles, joy and pain into a letter here.
Thank you Tampines Rovers, Thank you to my wife and my daughters, thank you to my family. It hasn’t been easy accommodating and giving in to my schedules, my feelings and emotions after games, especially when they don’t go well.
I stepped into this amazing country when I was 20 years old and was welcomed by this club who has always treated me tremendously. Everyone took me in and made me feel at home right from the start, and that is something I will always be eternally grateful for. You have not only given me a home but an extended family to share my Footballing moments with.
Putting on the Singapore jersey was also another proud moment for me and my family. From playing against the likes of causeway rivals Malaysia to the likes of Liverpool, every game filled me up with many emotions and huge amounts of pride. Those memories are something that I will never forget.
As I step into my stage of footballing career, I hope to give back to the sport that has given me everything. I hope to share my knowledge with the next generation of coaches and hopefully help them to surpass the heights that I have reached before at both club and country.
It’s a good bye for now but definitely not the end in my Football story.