Safuwan in 2012
|Full name||Muhammad Safuwan bin Baharudin|
|Date of birth||22 September 1991|
|Place of birth||Singapore|
|Height||1.81 m (5 ft 11 in)|
|Playing position(s)||Midfielder, defender, forward|
|2005–2009||National Football Academy|
|2015||→ Melbourne City (loan)||6||(2)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 22 November 2019|
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 22 November 2019
Muhammad Safuwan bin Baharudin (born 22 September 1991) is a Singaporean footballer playing as defender or midfielder for Selangor. He is known for being a technical player with super pace, power reading of the game and ball-playing capabilities. He also has a knack for scoring.
Safuwan started out playing as a striker during his Institute of Technical Education years and subsequently as a midfielder at the National Football Academy (NFA). Salim Moin, his NFA Under-17 coach, was credited with switching him to the centre-back position he currently plays in.
Safuwan was one of the Young Lions players that got involved in an on-pitch fight with several Beijing Guoan Talent players in their S.League match on 7 September 2010. He was charged by the FAS for gross misconduct and bringing the game into disrepute, and was fined S$2,000 for his part in the brawl.
Safuwan formed a strong understanding with Baihakki Khaizan in central defence as LionsXII won the 2013 Malaysia Super League with the competition's best defensive record. He contributed with five goals in 26 matches. Amid interest from Thai, Indonesian and rival Malaysia Super League sides including T-Team, he put pen to paper in a new two-year deal with LionsXII in November 2013.
Safuwan capped off his league performances by becoming the first male recipient of the annual Straits Times Athlete of the Year award in 2013.
Following the departure of regular defensive partner Baihakki in 2014, Safuwan formed a new partnership with new LionsXII recruit Afiq Yunos. He also showed his versatility with lauded displays in advanced midfield and attacking roles. Safuwan's performances up front and LionsXII's poor goal scoring form led to head coach Fandi Ahmad having to consider playing him as a forward in more games. Safuwan started in an advanced midfield role behind striker Khairul Amri in a Malaysia Super League match away to Sarawak on 15 March. On 25 March, he scored a late winner over Perak to send LionsXII up to 5th in the league table. He scored his second goal in as many games four days later as LionsXII drew 1–1 with T-Team and followed it up with the opener off a Shahfiq Ghani cross against Sime Darby on 5 April.
Safuwan earned the contract after his standout performance at a MCFC's training camp in Abu Dhabi, which was held from 10 January 2015 to 19 January 2015. He attended the training camp as part of a development opportunity arranged with the FAS. The club substantiated the decision to take Safuwan on loan with his impressive performances during the training camp, both as a centre back and as a full-back during the club's two friendly matches in the UAE. In the friendly matches, he was pitted against several notable players, such as former Juventus striker Mirko Vučinić. He played as a substitute in the side's second friendly match with Ukrainian Premier League outfit FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk, with the match concluding in a 1–1 result.
Safuwan made his debut for Melbourne City in the A-League on 7 February 2015 for the Melbourne Derby against Melbourne Victory. Safuwan scored his first goal for the club against Adelaide United on 27 February 2015. He scored his second goal just a couple of weeks later, against Western Sydney Wanderers to hand his side a 1-0 lead although they could not hang onto the lead and crash to a 3–2 defeat in the end.
Following a spine injury that he sustained in a competitive match against Wellington Phoenix, Safuwan's loan contract was allowed to lapse and was not renewed, despite earlier rumours stating that the club was interested in offering him a permanent contract. After his release, Safuwan returned to play for the LionsXII in the 2015 Malaysia Super League season.
In July 2015, it was reported that there was interest from J.League club Yokohama F Marinos to sign Safuwan on loan for the rest of the season. Although Safuwan stated that he was open to a second move overseas, even if it was on a short-term contract, the move ultimately did not materialise, and Safuwan remained with the LionsXII.
Upon the dismissal of LionsXII from the Malaysia Super League following the end of the 2015 season, Safuwan was linked with multiple Malaysian and Thai football clubs upon noting his potential availability. Safuwan signed a one-year loan deal with PDRM FA for the 2016 Malaysia Super League season. The transfer fee was initially estimated as being about S$45,000, but was found later to be closer to S$32,000. This deal was extended for a year despite PDRM FA's relegation into the Malaysian Premier League.
In 2018, Safuwan signed a contract with Malaysian Super League runners up Pahang FA and was presented alongside Malaysian forward, Norshahrul Idlan. He scored his first goal in a 2-1 victory against ATM FA in the 2018 Malaysia FA Cup. During his time with Pahang, he helped the club win the 2018 Malaysia FA Cup Final before being released at the end of the 2019 Malaysia Super League season despite being contracted until 2020.
Safuwan signed for Selangor FA for the 2020 Malaysia Super League season, ensuring that he will be playing in Malaysia for the 9th season. Safuwan made his debut for Selangor FA in the opening match of the 2020 Malaysia Super League season against his former club, Pahang FA.
Safuwan contributed to Singapore's then-record fourth ASEAN Football Championship win in 2012. He found himself increasingly paired with Baihakki Khaizan as regular centre-back Daniel Bennett was gradually phased out of the national team set-up.
Apart from national team commitments, Safuwan was also part of the Singapore Selection XI squad on several occasions. The selected squad are made up of current Singapore international footballers, as well as players currently participating in the S.League. Safuwan has appeared in all four matches that the Singapore Selection XI has played thus far, such as in the Peter Lim Charity Cup match against 2013–14 La Liga champions Atlético Madrid, a pre-season friendly match against Juventus, as well as in the 2015 Barclays Asia Trophy held in Singapore at the National Stadium.
Safuwan is a close friend with fellow footballer, Aqhari Abdullah. Both of them became friends during their teenage years. though Aqhari rarely appeared. Safuwan is also a husband to stewardess, Alia Qistina, whom he married in 2013. His father, Baharudin Abdul Ghani is a friend of Malaysia former national coach, Dollah Salleh. They grew up together in Singapore during their childhood days but stayed apart after Dollah moved to Malaysia.
Safuwan was the first Singaporean to be featured in FIFA 15.
|Melbourne City (loan)||2014–15||6||2||—||—||6||2|
- Young Lions and LionsXII are ineligible for qualification to AFC competitions in their respective leagues.
- Scores and results list Singapore's goal tally first.
|1.||1 February 2013||Bahrain National Stadium, Riffa, Bahrain||Bahrain||1–2||1–3||Friendly|
|2.||7 June 2013||New Laos National Stadium, Vientiane, Laos||Laos||3–0||5–2||Friendly|
|3.||17 November 2014||Yishun Stadium, Yishun, Singapore||Cambodia||4–2||4–2||Friendly|
|4.||11 June 2015||Phnom Penh Olympic Stadium, Phnom Penh, Cambodia||Cambodia||2–0||4–0||2018 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|6.||17 November 2015||National Stadium, Kallang, Singapore||Syria||1–1||1–2||2018 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|7.||1 September 2016||Bahrain National Stadium, Riffa, Bahrain||Bahrain||1–1||1–3||Friendly|
|8.||31 August 2017||Jalan Besar Stadium, Kallang, Singapore||Hong Kong||1–1||1–1||Friendly|
|9.||21 November 2018||National Stadium, Kallang, Singapore||Timor-Leste||1–0||6–1||2018 AFF Championship|
|12.||10 September 2019||Jalan Besar Stadium, Kallang, Singapore||Palestine||2–1||2–1||2022 FIFA World Cup qualification|
- FA Cup Malaysia: 2018
- 2014 Singapore Sports Awards: Meritorious Award
- 2013 Goal Singapore Football Awards: Singapore Player of the Year
- The Straits Times Athlete of the Year: 2013
- Goal.com-Nike 2012 ASEAN Football Championship Under-23 Player of the Tournament
- Goal.com 2012 ASEAN Football Championship Best XI
- 2011 S.League People's Choice Award
- 2015 Melbourne City Man of the Match vs Adelaide United
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- Safuwan Baharudin at Soccerway