Abdul Ghani Minhat

Abdul Ghani bin Minhat PSM PJN AMN DSSA DIMP (Jawi: عبدالغاني منحة; ‎ 23 December 1935 – 28 September 2012)[3][4] was a football player who represented the team Selangor FA and Negeri Sembilan FA in the 1950s until the late 1960s. He played as a striker and winger while representing Malaya and Malaysia. He was sent by FAM to undergo a training session at Eintracht Frankfurt, Germany and other countries.[5] He was known as the Raja Bola (Malay for King of ball) and is considered one of Malaysia's greatest football players.[6]

Tan Sri Datuk Abdul Ghani Minhat
Abdul Ghani Minhat with Johan Cruyff.jpg
Abdul Ghani Minhat (right) with Johan Cruyff
Personal information
Full name Abdul Ghani Bin Minhat
Date of birth (1935-12-23)23 December 1935
Place of birth Kampung Solok, Rantau,
Negeri Sembilan, British Malaya
Date of death 28 September 2012(2012-09-28) (aged 76)
Place of death Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Position(s) Striker
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1955–1968 Selangor FA
1969 Negeri Sembilan FA
National team
1956–1962 Malaya 57 (58[1])
1963–1966 Malaysia 14 (3[2])
Teams managed
1969 Malaysia
1970–1973 Selangor FA
1971 Malaysia B
1973 Malaysia
1975–1976 Malaysia
1983–1985 Selangor FA
*Club domestic league appearances and goals

Early lifeEdit

Datuk Ghani Minhat was born on 23 December 1935 in Kampung Solok, Rantau, Negeri Sembilan. Ghani later attended Princess Road School (now Sekolah Kebangsaan Jalan Raja Muda) at the age of 10 in 1945. He represented the school football team and only played bare footed. Two years later, Ghani attended Sekolah St. John's Kuala Lumpur and continued to play for the school team. In 1951, his talent was spotted by local police officers who later gave him his first ever football boots. In that time, only professional footballers can afford football boots as it was very expensive during the late 1950s.


At the age of 17, his talent was later spotted by police officers who later invited Ghani to play with the Police Depot Football Team in the Selangor League. He was asked to play in the left wing position, even though he was right footed. He used this opportunity to develop his left footed skill.

In 1955, Ghani was chosen to play with Selangor FA in their attempt to win the HMS Malaya Cup for the first time in 6 years. Selangor faced Singapore in the finals and Ghani help Selangor beat Singapore 2–1 with Ghani scoring one goal to give Selangor first cup in six years. His performance was praised by his teammates. Shortly after the match, he was called up by national coach, Neoh Boon Hean to represent the Malaya national team in a friendly against Cambodia.

Ghani continued to play for Selangor over the years and Selangor was considered the best club in Malaya with the name The Red Giants. Ghani, alongside M. Chandran, Stanley Gabrielle, Robert Choe and Arthur Koh, Selangor was a very powerful and feared team across Malaysia and Singapore.

One of his most invaluable experiences was being sent on attachments to gain experiences and undergo better training to several clubs in England (West Ham United, Arsenal, Spurs), Wales (Cardiff City) and Germany (Eintracht Frankfurt) in 1962.[7]

In 1967, Ghani help Selangor to qualify the first ever 1967 Asian Club Championship. They manage to go in the finals after beating Tungsten Mining FC of South Korea thanks to the goal that Ghani scored. The Israeli club Hapoel Tel Aviv manage to overcome Selangor by beating Ghani side 2–1 in Bangkok. However, Selangor was praised by the Football Association of Malaysia by being the first team to qualify the finals in the Asian Club Championship.

Ghani officially retired football in 1968 with the 1968 Malaysia Cup final against Pahang being Ghani's last match in football. Selangor won 8–1 without Ghani scoring.

International careerEdit

In 1956, after Ghani made a brilliant performance for Selangor, national coach, Neoh Boon Hean brought team to the national squad for the 1956 AFC Asian Cup qualification against Cambodia. Ghani's first appearance with the national team was very impressive when Ghani scored an amazing seven goals to helping Malaya beat Cambodia 9–2. This was Ghani's first time playing for Malaya.

The following year, he scored his first goal in the first ever edition, inaugural 1957 Pestabola Merdeka from an amazing 40 meters rocket shot against Vietnam in the tournament held at the Padang TPCA, Princess Road in 1957. But the Ghani was disappointed after failing to win the trophy for his country after Hong Kong emerged as champions. Ghani managed to overcome his disappointment in 1958 when he helped the national squad won the 1958 Pestabola Merdeka after being the group champions above Hong Kong and Indonesia.

Ghani then helped Malaya to retain the title Pestabola Merdeka in 1959 after beating Indonesia 2–1. He later received the title 'King of ball' from Football Association of Selangor (FAS), a title later used by anyone to refer to him for his brilliant performance for Malaya.[8]

He completed his hat-trick in the 1960 Pestabola Merdeka. Malaya eventually shared the title with Asian Giants, South Korea. In 1961, Ghani help the national team's to win the gold medal in the 1961 SEAP Games (now SEA Games) in Rangoon, the Burmese (now Myanmar) after beating the Burma in the finals.

Ghani helped Malaya to win the 1962 Asian Games bronze medal after beating South Vietnam 4–1.

After the defunct of Malaya national team in 1963, a combined team with the combination of players from Federation of Malaya and Singapore under the name of new nation, Malaysia was proposed by Tunku Abdul Rahman to competed at the 1963 Merdeka Tournament. Ghani was selected as the first captain of Malaysia national team. Ghani officially retired from international football after the 1966 Pestabola Merdeka.

Coaching careerEdit

After his retirement, he was sent to Japan by the Football Association of Malaysia to attend a FIFA Coaching School being the first ever Malaysian to have an official training from FIFA. After having 1 year of Coaching studies in Japan, he finally received his coaching license in 1969. He was appointed to be the coach the national team in 1969. Ghani managed the national team on a on-off basis starting from 1969 Merdeka Tournament. His last involvement with the national is at the 1976 Olympic Games qualification in Jakarta.

After only coaching the national team, he later coached his favourite team, Selangor in 1970. In 1971, he became the first player and coach to win the Malaysia Cup after being the team coach and also playing in the final and the semi-finals. He again led Selangor Malaysia's Cup victory over Perak 3–1 in 1972. He then resigned as coach in 1973 because his main concentration was on business instead of coaching.

10 years later, Ghani returned as coach for Selangor after replacing Chow Kwai Lam in 1983. But his coaching career with Selangor only lasted three seasons after being sacked after failing to help the team win the Malaysia Cup in 1985 despite the successful season leading Selangor to win the 1984 Malaysia Cup after a 3–1 victory over Pahang. After Ghani left as coach, he returned doing business.

In 2004, he returned to Selangor but this time as a Coaching Adviser for the Football Association of Selangor (FAS). He later resigned from the Football Association of Selangor and agreed moved to his birthplace and became a Coaching Adviser for Negeri Sembilan. He resigned later in around 2007.


He died on 28 September 2012, due to the complications after undergoing coronary bypass surgery at National Heart Institute, in Kuala Lumpur. A. Ghani leaves behind wife Puan Sri Tengku Aishah Tengku Ibrahim, two sons and two daughters.[9]

Career statisticsEdit

International goalsEdit


Scores and results list Malaya's goal tally first.[1]
# Date Venue Opponent Result Competition
1. 17 March 1956 Kuala Lumpur, Malaya   Cambodia 9–2 1956 AFC Asian Cup qualification
8. 29 April 1956 Phnom Penh, Cambodia   Cambodia 2–3
10. 24 May 1956 Kuala Lumpur, Malaya   South Vietnam 3–3
12. 12 May 1957 Jalan Besar, Singapore   Singapore 1–1 Friendly
13. 1 September 1957 Kuala Lumpur, Malaya   Burma 5–2 1957 Merdeka Tournament
14. 4 September 1957 Kuala Lumpur, Malaya   Hong Kong 3–3
16. 7 September 1957 Kuala Lumpur, Malaya   Indonesia 2–4
18. 1 March 1958 Kuala Lumpur, Malaya   Singapore 5–2 Friendly
20. 3 May 1958 Jalan Besar, Singapore   Singapore 3–3 Friendly
22. 4 May 1958 Jalan Besar, Singapore   Singapore 3–0 Friendly
24. 14 May 1958 Kuala Lumpur, Malaya   Pakistan 4–2 Friendly
26. 28 December 1958 Kuala Lumpur, Malaya   Japan 6–2 Friendly
29. 4 January 1959 George Town, Malaya   Japan 1–3 Friendly
30. 22 January 1959 Rangoon, Burma   Burma 4–2 Friendly
32. 25 January 1959 Rangoon, Burma   Burma 2–3 Friendly
33. 11 May 1959 Jalan Besar, Singapore   Singapore 10–2 1960 AFC Asian Cup qualification
34. 2 September 1959 Kuala Lumpur, Malaya   South Vietnam 4–3 1959 Merdeka Tournament
35. 14 December 1959 Bangkok, Thailand   Thailand 1–3 1959 SEAP Games
36. 5 August 1960 Kuala Lumpur, Malaya   Japan 3–0 1960 Merdeka Tournament
38. 7 August 1960 Kuala Lumpur, Malaya   Thailand 8–2
41. 28 May 1961 Tokyo, Japan   Japan 2–3 Friendly
43. 2 August 1961 Kuala Lumpur, Malaya   Japan 3–2 1961 Merdeka Tournament
44. 5 August 1961 Kuala Lumpur, Malaya   South Vietnam 3–1
45. 9 August 1961 Kuala Lumpur, Malaya   India 1–2
46. 13 August 1961 Kuala Lumpur, Malaya   Indonesia 1–2
47. 12 December 1961 Rangoon, Burma   Cambodia 4–0 1961 SEAP Games
49. 13 December 1961 Rangoon, Burma   Burma 2–1
50. 15 December 1961 Rangoon, Burma   Thailand 2–2
51. 16 December 1961 Rangoon, Burma   Burma 2–0
52. 26 August 1962 Jakarta, Indonesia   Philippines 15–1 1962 Asian Games
55. 28 August 1962 Jakarta, Indonesia   Indonesia 3–2
56. 3 September 1962 Jakarta, Indonesia   South Vietnam 4–1
57. 8 September 1962 Kuala Lumpur, Malaya   Japan 2–2 1962 Merdeka Tournament
58. 13 Septebemr 1962 Kuala Lumpur, Malaya   Burma 3–2


Scores and results list Malaysia's goal tally first.[1]
# Date Venue Opponent Result Competition
1. 8 August 1963 Kuala Lumpur, Malaya   Japan 3–4 1963 Merdeka Tournament
3. 7 December 1963 Saigon, South Vietnam   South Vietnam 3–5 1964 AFC Asian Cup qualification


As playerEdit


National TeamEdit

Winners(3): 1958, 1959, 1960
Gold Medal: 1961
Bronze Medal: 1962


Winners(7): 1956, 1959, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1966, 1968
Winners(6): 1953, 1954, 1960, 1962, 1961, 1962
Runners-up: 1967



  • Malaya all-time top scorer: 58 goals[15][16]
  • The first player from outside Europe and the first player from Asia to reach 50 goals for men's national teams: 15 December 1961[17]
  • The fifth player to reach 50 goals for men's national teams after Imre Schlosser(1917), Poul Nielsen(1925), Ferenc Puskás(1952) and Sándor Kocsis(1954): 1961[18]
  • The longest international scoring series: 11 Matches in 1961-1962[19]
  • One of the four players who had averages more than one goal per match in international and having scored more than 50 goals after Sandor Kocsis with 75 goals in 68 matches (1.1), Gerd Müller with 68 goals in 62 matches (1.1) and Poul Nielsen with 52 goals in 38 matches (1.37): 58 goals in 57 matches (1.02)[20]
  • One of the three players who had scored four goals in a Malaysia Cup final after Lee Ah Loke(1952) and N. Thanabalan(1968): 1963[21]

As coachEdit

Winners(3): 1971, 1972, 1984
Winners(1): 1972
Winners(1): 1973
Malaysia B
Winners(1): 1971


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c Mamrud, Roberto. "Abdul Ghani Minhat – Goals in International Matches". RSSSF. Retrieved 30 March 2021.
  2. ^ Malaysia - Record International Players - RSSSF
  3. ^ a b "'Dato' Abdul Ghani Minhat". National Archives of Malaysia. Archived from the original on 29 December 2019. Retrieved 2 October 2018.
  4. ^ "'Dato' Abdul Ghani Minhat". National Archives of Malaysia. Archived from the original on 15 June 2017. Retrieved 2 October 2018.
  5. ^ "Goalscorer Supreme". Pressreader. Retrieved 29 September 2012.
  6. ^ "The King of Football", Dato’ Hj Abd Ghani Minhat Archived 3 June 2010 at the Wayback Machine, OCM Sports Museum and Hall of Fame
  7. ^ ""The King of Football", Dato' Hj Abd Ghani Minhat". OCM Sport Museum & Hall of fame at Wayback Machine. 2011. Archived from the original on 27 October 2011. Retrieved 27 October 2011.
  8. ^ "'Raja bola M'sia' ditawar bermain di Liga EPL pada 1962" (in Malay). Malaysiakini. Archived from the original on 30 July 2021. Retrieved 28 September 2012.
  9. ^ "'Raja Bola' Ghani Minhat Dies". FAM. Archived from the original on 30 July 2021. Retrieved 28 September 2012.
  10. ^ Abdul Ghani Minhat factfile - NST, 29 September 2012.
  11. ^ "'Raja bola M'sia' ditawar bermain di Liga EPL pada 1962" (in Malay). Malaysiakini. Archived from the original on 30 July 2021. Retrieved 28 September 2012.
  12. ^ "OLYMPIC COUNCIL OF MALAYSIA/AWARDS/HALL OF FAME: FULL LIST" (in Malay). OCM. Archived from the original on 12 December 2020. Retrieved 5 January 2022.
  13. ^ "From Raja Bola to King James, 'Spiderman' to Safiq - The best Malaysia XI of all time". Goal. Archived from the original on 8 June 2020. Retrieved 30 May 2022.
  14. ^ "IFFHS MEN'S ALL TIME MALAYSIA DREAM TEAM - 123". IFFHS. Archived from the original on 29 May 2022. Retrieved 29 May 2022.
  15. ^ "The Top 50 International Goalscorers of All Time". FARPost. FARPost.co.za. 27 June 2021. Archived from the original on 13 August 2021. Retrieved 27 June 2021.
  16. ^ "The Top 50 International Goalscorers of All Time". 90min Staff. 90min.com. 24 June 2021. Archived from the original on 2 August 2021. Retrieved 24 June 2021.
  17. ^ Mamrud, Roberto (30 March 2021). "Abdul Ghani Minhat – Goals in International Matches". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Archived from the original on 26 June 2021. Retrieved 30 March 2021.
  18. ^ Mamrud, Roberto; Stokkermans, Karel. "Players with 100+ Caps and 30+ International Goals". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation (RSSSF). Retrieved 22 June 2017.
  19. ^ "IFFHS STATISTICS - LONGEST INTERNATIONAL SCORING SERIES". IFFHS. 28 June 2022. Archived from the original on 10 August 2022. Retrieved 10 August 2022.
  20. ^ "Torpedo Müller, el antecesor de Messi y Cristiano". Fran Mena (in Spanish). RTVE. 16 August 2021. Archived from the original on 16 August 2021. Retrieved 17 August 2021.
  21. ^ "Memorable events in 100 years of Malaysia Cup". Timesports. NST. 25 September 2021. Archived from the original on 5 January 2022. Retrieved 28 January 2022.
  22. ^ "King awards 1,523 on birthday". Bernama. The Star. 3 June 2012. Retrieved 6 June 2020.
  23. ^ "DSSA 2001". awards.selangor.gov.my.

External linksEdit