|Full name||Rajagobal Krishnasamy|
|Date of birth||10 July 1956|
|Place of birth||Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia|
|PKNS FC (head coach)|
|2007–2009||Harimau Muda A|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
Datuk K. Rajagobal (Rajagobal Krishnasamy, Tamil: கி.ராஜகோபால்; born 10 July 1956) is a Malaysian football manager and former national player. He is the former head coach for Malaysia national football team and the under-23 football team. Currently he is the head coach of PKNS F.C. in Malaysia Super League.
Beginnings as coach
He was appointed coach for the young Malaysia U-20 team from 2004 until 2006; and the Malaysia under-19 (known as Harimau Muda A) in 2007 to 2009. Under his guidance, Harimau Muda A became the Premier League champion in 2009. Since July 2009, he is the head coach for both the Harimau Muda and Malaysia senior team, taking over from B. Sathianathan. His first games was a 3–0 win against Singapore and 5–0 win against Zimbabwe.
Rajagopal is best known for guiding Malaysia's under-23 side to its first gold medal in 20 years at the 2009 Southeast Asian Games in Laos where the team defeated Vietnam 1–0 in the final on 17 December after earlier knocking out 8-time defending champions, Thailand in the group stage. After the victory, Rajagopal earned the nickname "King Gopal". In July 2009, Rajagopal coached Malaysia in two games against English champions, Manchester United, lost in both matches 0–1 and 2–3.
He also led the national football team to win the 2010 AFF Suzuki Cup, the first time Malaysia won the championship since its inception in 1996. His philosophy of changing the tactical approach from a defensive to offensive playing style has been rewarded in this victory. His young team has shown a high standard of football possession, good defensive structure and clinical finish en route to clinch the title. His contract was not renewed at the end of 2013. Despite some rumours citing him to be appointed as the head coach for the Vietnam national football team, it does not come to fruition.
In a press conference in September 2015, it was announced that Rajagopal has been appointed as head coach of Sarawak FA, beginning from December 2015. His contract was terminated the following year on 7 May 2016 after the poor performances shown by the team by finishing at the bottom of the league.
Return to PKNS F.C.
Awards and recognition
On 4 June 2011, K. Rajagopal was awarded the Panglima Jasa Negara (P.J.N) which carries the title Datuk in conjunction with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong's birthday in that year. He was among 67 recipients of the awards from His Majesty Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin at Balairong Seri, Istana Negara.
Honours as manager
- Winners (1): 2010
- Winners/Gold medals (1): 2009
- "MIC Chief Calls For Award For National Football Coach". Bernama. 30 December 2010. Archived from the original on 30 September 2011. Retrieved 2 July 2011.
- "No bed of roses for Rajagopal". The Star. 12 September 2008. Retrieved 7 July 2018.
- "Coach Rajagopal urges Malaysians to support team irrespective of results". The Star. 20 December 2009. Archived from the original on 29 November 2010. Retrieved 7 July 2018.
- Darren Goon. "Flash Back: AFF Suzuki Cup 2010". Goal.com. Retrieved 7 July 2018.
- Falah Abdullah (25 April 2014). "Datuk K. Rajagopal linked to Vietnam job". Goal.com. Retrieved 7 July 2018.
- Geryl Ogilvy Ruekeith (10 September 2015). "K Rajagopal unveiled as Sarawak new head coach". The Borneo Post. Retrieved 7 July 2018.
- Eric Samuel (11 May 2016). "Rajagopal not quitting coaching after Sarawak farce". The Star. Retrieved 7 July 2018.
- ""I have nothing to prove": new PKNS coach K.Rajagobal". FourFourTwo. 22 November 2017. Retrieved 7 July 2018.
- Devinder Singh (22 November 2017). "Rajagobal returns home to PKNS". New Straits Times. Retrieved 7 July 2018.
- "K. Rajagobal returns to coaching with PKNS FC". Fox Sports Asia. Retrieved 7 July 2018.
- Eric Samuel (5 June 2011). "King honours Aru, Rajagopal". The Star. Retrieved 28 July 2011.
- "Semakan Penerima Darjah Kebesaran, Bintang dan Pingat".