The experienced 36-year-old came out of retirement to represent Tanjong Pagar United for the 2021 Singapore Premier League season.
In an unexpected move, former Singapore national team winger Ridhuan Muhammad has come out of retirement to join Singapore Premier League (SPL) outfit Tanjong Pagar United for the 2021 season.
The signing was confirmed by the club on its Instagram account on Wednesday (Jan 13).
Capped 68 times by the country, the 36-year-old has represented local clubs Young Lions, Tampines Rovers, Geylang International and Warriors FC.
Ridhuan also had overseas stints with Indonesian sides Arema Indonesia, Putra Samarinda and Borneo FC, whom he last turned out professionally for in 2018.
Explaining his decision to return to the professional fold, Ridhuan felt he still had something to prove.
“No secret [about it], football is something which I’m truly passionate about and it’s something which is rooted in my identity,” he told local football website Junpiter Futbol.
“I can’t help but to think if I could do better and finished off with a bang. Think of this as my last dance.”
The COVID-19 pandemic played a part in his decision-making.
“If there is anything which COVID-19 has provided us positively, that has to be the essence of time. I got to reflect on my whole life journey and also think about the things which I could have done better,” added Ridhuan.
Ridhuan will link up once again with former teammate and forward Khairul Amri on the pitch and this will undoubtedly provide the squad with much-needed experience and firepower upfront.
It was something sorely missing as the Jaguars endured a winless 2020 SPL campaign.
Off the pitch, he will reprise the partnership with ex-teammates Hafiz Osman and Noh Alam Shah, currently the fitness trainer and team manager at Tanjong Pagar.
The trio helped Singapore to a few Asean Football Federation Suzuki Cup triumphs in their heyday.
Ridhuan is already looking forward to this opportunity to work with Hafiz, the club’s fitness coach, and Alam Shah, the club’s team manager.
“Why Tanjong Pagar? This year, they extended this opportunity for me to be back in the professional league which is an intriguing opportunity not to be missed,” he shared.
“Reuniting with Alam Shah, even in different roles, is something which I am excited about. I really want to prove to everyone, including myself that I [still] have the ‘X-factor’ in what I am passionate about, and that’s football.”
Known for his pace and darting runs down the flanks, Ridhuan also hopes to thrill the SPL fans and guide the side back to glory in 2021.
“For this season, I want to generate buzz with my speed and skill like what I’ve always been doing. I’d also like to push my fitness levels up to the optimum so that I can contribute to bringing honours and make Tanjong Pagar proud,” he declared.
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