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K. Rajagopal

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K. Rajagopal
Personal information
Full name Rajagobal Krishnasamy
Date of birth (1956-07-10) 10 July 1956 (age 63)
Place of birth Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Playing position Striker
Club information
Current team
PKNS FC (head coach)
Youth career
1974–1977 PKNS FC
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1978–1980 Selangor FA 22 (8)
1981–1989 Sabah FA 66 (12)
Total 88 (20)
National team
1980–1982 Malaysia 20 (0)
Teams managed
1990–1998 PKNS F.C.
1999–2000 Selangor FA
2001–2002 Kelantan FA
2004–2006 Malaysia U-19
2007–2009 Harimau Muda A
2009–2011 Malaysia U-23
2009–2013 Malaysia
2015–2016 Sarawak FA
2017– PKNS F.C.
* 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.[1] 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.

Rajagopal has also appeared as a football pundit for Malaysian satellite television network Astro, including the first episode in August 2009 of the FourFourTwo TV Show.


As manager[edit]

Beginnings as coach[edit]

Rajagopal started his coaching career in 1990 with PKNS F.C.. He also had stints as club coach with Selangor FA and Kelantan FA.[2]


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.[2] 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.[3] 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.[4] 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.[5]


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.[6] 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.[7][8]

Return to PKNS F.C.[edit]

Rajagopal was announced as the new head coach of PKNS F.C. on 22 November 2017.[8][9][10]

Awards and recognition[edit]

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.[11][12]

Honours as manager[edit]


  • Winners/Gold medals (1): 2009


  1. ^ "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.
  2. ^ a b "No bed of roses for Rajagopal". The Star. 12 September 2008. Retrieved 7 July 2018.
  3. ^ "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.
  4. ^ Darren Goon. "Flash Back: AFF Suzuki Cup 2010". Retrieved 7 July 2018.
  5. ^ Falah Abdullah (25 April 2014). "Datuk K. Rajagopal linked to Vietnam job". Retrieved 7 July 2018.
  6. ^ Geryl Ogilvy Ruekeith (10 September 2015). "K Rajagopal unveiled as Sarawak new head coach". The Borneo Post. Retrieved 7 July 2018.
  7. ^ Eric Samuel (11 May 2016). "Rajagopal not quitting coaching after Sarawak farce". The Star. Retrieved 7 July 2018.
  8. ^ a b ""I have nothing to prove": new PKNS coach K.Rajagobal". FourFourTwo. 22 November 2017. Retrieved 7 July 2018.
  9. ^ Devinder Singh (22 November 2017). "Rajagobal returns home to PKNS". New Straits Times. Retrieved 7 July 2018.
  10. ^ "K. Rajagobal returns to coaching with PKNS FC". Fox Sports Asia. Retrieved 7 July 2018.
  11. ^ Eric Samuel (5 June 2011). "King honours Aru, Rajagopal". The Star. Retrieved 28 July 2011.
  12. ^ "Semakan Penerima Darjah Kebesaran, Bintang dan Pingat".