Published: Monday September 3, 2012 MYT 5:23:00 PM
Updated: Monday September 3, 2012 MYT 7:17:09 PM
La Salle pupils starstruck by Johan Cruyff
By JOSEPH KAOS Jr
KUALA LUMPUR: They may have never watched him play, but football lovers Pritpaal Singh, 11, and S. Tharmmendrah, 10, were starstruck because Dutch legend Johan Cruyff shook hands and spoke with them.
"My father is a fan of Mr Johan Cruyff. I feel so proud that I managed to see him in real life," said Tharmmendrah, a primary four student from SK La Salle Brickfields Monday.
His schoolmate Pritpaal meanwhile feels more encouraged to pursue his ambition to become a legendary footballer himself after Cruyff gave him some advice.
"Train hard and love the game. You keep doing that until you achieve 100% of your abilities. You will be a legend," said Cruyff, answering Pritpaal during a Q&A session with the children.
Cruyff was in town to launch and open a new football court in Brickfields, called the "Cruyff Court", a football development project spearheaded by his own Johan Cruyff Foundation.
Khazanah Nasional Berhad has contributed RM3.1mil to build and maintain two Cruyff Courts in Malaysia.
The other Cruyff Court in Johor Bahru has been completed and is located at SK Mohd Khir Johari in Kampung Melayu Majidee and scheduled to be launched Tuesday.
The Cruyff Court project emphasises on bringing together children and youths in the surrounding community, including those from low-income families and special needs children, to play, develop and learn from each other.
There are in total 160 Cruyff Courts in the world and Malaysia is the second Asian country to have the court after Japan.