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Personal information
Full name Ramang
Date of birth (1924-04-24)April 24, 1924
Place of birth Barru, South Sulawesi, Dutch East Indies
Date of death September 26, 1987(1987-09-26) (aged 63)
Place of death Ujungpandang, South Sulawesi, Indonesia
Playing position Forward
Youth career
1939–1943 Barru
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
–1947 Persis
1947–1960 PSM Makassar
1962–1968 PSM Makassar
National team
1952–1962 Indonesia
Teams managed
PSM Makassar
PSBI Blitar
Persipal Palu
PSM Makassar
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Ramang (April 24, 1924 – September 26, 1987)[1] was an Indonesian footballer. He is widely considered by Indonesian football experts and former players as one of the greatest players in the history of Indonesian football. He is particularly known for his bicycle kicks and ability to score goals from right corner kicks.[2] He was also referred to as Rusli Ramang in official FIFA documents.[3]

Early life[edit]

Ramang was born in 1928 in Barru, South Sulawesi. His father, Nyo'lo, was an aide of the King of Gowa, Djondjong Karenta Lemamparang, and was known for his ability in sepak takraw. Ramang spent his childhood playing sepak takraw using balls made out of rattan, cloth, and sometimes orange fruits. This is believed to be the reason why Ramang frequently score goals using bicycle kicks.[4][5]

Club career and other jobs[edit]

Ramang started his career as a football player in 1939 by joining a football club in Barru. He played until 1943, when he decided to end his bachelorhood. Together with his wife, they opened a small coffee shop for a living. After the death of their newborn baby, they decided to leave for Ujungpandang (now Makassar) just before Indonesia's independence. They stayed at a friend's house, and Ramang started his life there as a becak driver, later becoming a truck driver assistant. During this time, his wife gave birth to their second child.[4]

In 1947, Ramang was contracted by PSM Makassar, after seeing his performance in a competition held by PSM. His team, Persis (Persatuan Sepakbola Seluruh Sulawesi), won 9–0 in one of the matches, and only two names are on the scoreboard, one of them being Ramang, scoring 7 goals. He only spent a year in PSM, later worked in a Public Works Department, with a salary of 3500 rupiahs (equal to 4 US cents).[5]

International career[edit]

In 1952, Ramang replaced Sunardi, Suardi Arland's brother – both of them football players – to join a training camp in Djakarta. This led to his call-up to the Indonesia national football team. During the All-Indonesia tour of the Far East in 1953, Indonesia played against the Philippines in their country, All-Hong Kong, Hong Kong Selection, Combined Chinese and South Korea in Hong Kong, and the Thai Royal Air Force in Bangkok, Thailand. Indonesia only lost once to South Korea and winning all the other games. They only conceded 7 goals and scored 25 goals, of which 19 of them are scored by Ramang.[4][6]

Ramang was also called up by coach Antun Pogačnik to be the part of the 1956 Summer Olympics team in Melbourne. Indonesia automatically qualified to the quarterfinals after South Vietnam withdrew. They successfully held the Soviet Union 0–0, who at the time was considered to be one of the strongest teams in the world. In the replay match Indonesia lost 0–4 to USSR, but the first game was considered as one of the famous matches in the Indonesian football history.

Ramang, who wore shirt number 9 in the tournament stated in an interview with Tempo about the match: "Actually I was about to score a goal that time. But my shirt was being pulled from behind."[2] It was the first time, also the only one so far for the Indonesian football team to participate in the Summer Olympics.[2]

One of Ramang's famous goals was against China PR in the 1958 FIFA World Cup qualification, where Indonesia won 2–0, and one of the goals was done by bicycle kick.

Ramang gained nationwide popularity during his international career, including in the late 50s where many Indonesian mothers named their babies "Ramang."[4]

Ramang: International goals
Goal Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1 1 May 1954 Rizal Memorial Stadium, Manila, Philippines  Japan 1–0 5–3 1954 Asian Games
2 5 May 1954 Rizal Memorial Stadium, Manila, Philippines  India 3–0 4–0 1954 Asian Games
3 5 May 1954 Rizal Memorial Stadium, Manila, Philippines  India 4–0 4–0 1954 Asian Games
4 12 May 1957 Djakarta, Indonesia  China PR 1–0 2–0 1958 FIFA World Cup qualification
5 12 May 1957 Djakarta, Indonesia  China PR 2–0 2–0 1958 FIFA World Cup qualification
6 2 June 1957 Beijing, China PR  China PR 2–1 4–3 1958 FIFA World Cup qualification
7 2 June 1957 Beijing, China PR  China PR 3–2 4–3 1958 FIFA World Cup qualification

*This is an incomplete list

Later life and death[edit]

Ramang was suspended from football in 1960 after he was accused of accepting bribes, which he denied until his death. In 1962 he was called up again by PSM Makassar, but finally decided to retire from football in 1968, at the age of 44. He then decided to become a coach for PSM Makassar, then other football clubs, PSBI Blitar and Persipal Palu, and later returned to coach PSM Makassar.

One night in 1981, Ramang returned home with wet clothes after coaching PSM Makassar players under the rain. Since then he became sick and was diagnosed with pneumonia. Ramang stayed at home for six years because he had no money to pay for hospital care. Ramang died in Ujungpandang, on September 26, 1987, at the age of 63, and was survived by his 4 children and 10 grandchildren.[4]


Minister of Youths and Sport Andi Mallarangeng said that Ramang was "an inspiration to Makassarese children who love football". Ramang's life story also was made to biographical book written by M. Dahlan Abu Bakar entitled Ramang, Macan Bola, released in August 2011. Harry Tjong, Ramang's partner in national team said that Ramang is worth called "the special one" such as Mourinho, and also he was like Maradona.[7]


  1. ^ 100-Goal Striker (Indonesian)
  2. ^ a b c Ramang Has Gone (Indonesian)
  3. ^ Rusli RAMANG FIFA.com
  4. ^ a b c d e Ramang, the Forgotten Indonesian Football Legend (Indonesian)
  5. ^ a b "Ramang Dari Kaki Telanjang". Tempo. May 1971. Retrieved January 5, 2011. 
  6. ^ All-Indonesia tour of the Far East 1953
  7. ^ Tampubolon, Marco (10 August 2011). "Ramang, Maradona-nya Indonesia". VIVAnews. Retrieved 18 October 2012.