The 25-year-old has been named for the centralised training camp at Wisma FAM, Kelana Jaya, to prepare for the two Tier 1 international friendlies against Syria (Sept 6) and China (Sept 9) in Chengdu, China.
His inclusion was a surprise to many as he didn’t play for a month due to a suspension meted out by the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) for a comment he made on officials after the Super League match against Sabah on April 27.
But Faisal is looking forward to show his venomous performance, which is to kill opponents with his pace and dribbling, and goalkeepers with his finishing.
When asked about his suspension period, Faisal, fondly known as Mickey, said it was like a short break from the game.
“It’s normal, it happens in football, but to me, that’s my strength. Since December last year, I’ve not had a break. Maybe God gave me a holiday to reset and be morally strong,” he said.
“As for my form, I can’t give any answers right now because I have only played one game since my suspension. That too was just 46 minutes against Kelantan. But I am ready to help Malaysia by giving my best.
“Relieved that suspension is over? I would say it’s a blessing. My family and the boys in Selangor were there with me, not forgetting the Malaysians. I will show that I can do well for the nation.”
As for the games against Syria and China, he is looking forward to facing the best teams in Asia.
“Syria and China are not weak teams. We know their status in the world rankings and watched their progress over the years. If we want to progress, we have to face sides like these. But we also need Malaysians to pray for us.
“We want to fix our weaknesses when we face these sides.”
Faisal was present at the launch of the Merdeka Tournament, which was held at Aeon Big in Wangsa Maju, Kuala Lumpur, yesterday.
The Merdeka Tournament will be held from Oct 13-17 at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil.
Malaysia will face world No. 99 India first on Oct 13. It will be Harimau Malaya’s first meeting against the South Asian giants after 12 years.
World No. 96 Palestine and Tajikistan will face off in the other match. The winners of both matches will face off in the final on Oct 17 while the losers will play for third place.
The tournament was last held in 2013 when the national Under-23 side, led by Datuk Ong Kim Swee, won the title in Kuantan.