Brazil the preferred team for most Malaysian politicians this World Cup, Germany second

Brazil's Neymar celebrates scoring their first goal against Croatia during the international friendly in Liverpool June 3, 2018. — Reuters pic
Brazil's Neymar celebrates scoring their first goal against Croatia during the international friendly in Liverpool June 3, 2018. — Reuters pic

PETALING JAYA, June 14 — The world’s biggest football tournament kicks off at 11pm today as host Russia takes on Saudi Arabia to the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.

Millions of fans will be supporting their favourite team and Malaysian politicians who have been ever-so busy since May 9 will also be cheering on the country of their choice over the next month.

Who are they supporting? Let’s find out.

1) M. Kulasegaran

Human resource minister

Team: Brazil

The Perak-born Kula loved playing football when he was younger and could be seen running down the flanks, supporting the attack and the defence.

A speedy fullback, his heart has been with Brazil since he was a kid, simply because he loves Brazil’s flair.

Growing up, he always admired Pele, the three-time World Cup winner (1958, 1962, 1970).

2) Anthony Loke

Transport minister

Team: Brazil

He admires Selecao’s style and skills which are on display every match.

However, he admits that he might be too busy to catch the World Cup, but with Neymar onboard, Loke does not have to worry as Brazil looks like the favourite to lift the trophy.

3) Charles Santiago

Klang MP

Team: Brazil

Another one on the Brazil fan boat.

In his own words: “I’m a Brazil supporter, a loyalist — win or lose.”

4) Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong

Ayer Hitam MP

Team: Brazil

The Melaka-born politician is another loyal Brazil fan.

Wee said that Brazil has been his favourite since he was a child and cited their samba style as the deciding factor.

5) Maria Chin Abdullah

Petaling Jaya MP

Team: England

Maria will be cheering the Three Lions on for Russia 2018.

“England has not won the World Cup since Bobby Moore’s days. Amazing things have happened in Malaysia, so why not at the World Cup?” she said.

6) Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz

Padang Rengas MP

Team: France

The former tourism minister will be backing Les Blues and cited their multiracial team as the reason for his choice. “I prefer France because the team is made up of multiracial players, which is interesting.

“Most of them do not play for larger-known clubs so they are like the dark horses,” he said.

7) Datuk Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah

Kelantan deputy mentri besar

Team: Brazil

Amar has been a lifelong fan of Brazil because of their skills and clean play.

8) Rafizi Ramli

PKR vice-president

Team: Germany, Brazil, Spain

Unlike most football fans, Rafizi will be pinning his hopes on these three nations at the World Cup.

“It’s called opportunistic support. I have always supported Germany-Brazil-Spain, in that order.

“As they progress, if one loses, I will transfer my support to the next available in that order. That way I remain ‘in the game’ because my team is still playing.”

9) Kasthuri Patto

Batu Kawan MP

Team: Argentina/Brazil

The Ipoh-born politician is hoping that Argentina wins the trophy for the third time. If Lionel Messi and co fail, she will support foes, Brazil.

10) Datuk Wilfred Madius Tangau

Sabah deputy chief minister

Team: Brazil

The acting president of Upko will be supporting Brazil because of their style of play. If they fail, he’ll be cheering Argentina and Spain on.

11) Ahmad Faizal Azumu

Perak mentri besar

Team: Germany

The businessman from Perak is confident that Germany will defend their trophy.

“They play excellent football and they proved that they are better than the other 31 nations during the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

“They’ll defend it again this year,” he said.

12) Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak

Acting Sabah Umno chief

Team: Germany

The former Communications and Multimedia Minister admires Die Mannschaft and believes their solid track record in international tournaments and strong work ethic will pull them through.

13) Salahuddin Ayub

Agriculture minister

Team: Brazil

14) Thomas Su Kiong Siong

Kampar MP

Team: Germany

Su loves the discipline and resilience showed by Germany at every international tournament.

Oh, and he dislikes England as they have no substance ouch!