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Zeem Ahmad to rock Japan with his panna skills

Zeem Ahmad’s determination to bring the Malaysian panna scene to the world stage is something to be proud of.

The 24-year-old will represent Malaysia in Japan for the Panna Home Training Camp 2019 from 13 to 15 July, not to undergo training, but to actually be one of the trainers there. Check out how Zeem first started to get involved with panna.

1.How and when did you start playing panna?

I started becoming interested in panna when I first saw Ronaldinho doing tricks with a football on television. My brother would take me with him to see street footballers in action and that’s when I meet with a lot of freestylers and got really inspired by their talents. Since we were always among freestylers, we were invited to almost every tournament and I never stopped since then.

2. What do your parents have to say about this passion of yours? Are they supportive?

Generally, they are very supportive but while I was still in school, they weren’t too happy about me being too heavily involved but once I started to receive acknowledgement from the media and win a few tournaments, my family slowly came around and accepted the fact that this is what I love and want to do.

3.Do you have your own signature moves?

Of course, I go around the world showcasing my very own panna moves. This is something that’s always misunderstood by newcomers; they think it’s okay to copy other people’s style. You need to be creative and think out of the box to invent your own moves.

4. Do you plan your moves in a competition or do they come naturally? Do you do research about your opponents?

I do plan my moves whenever I have competitions or performances so that I won’t screw up. Haha. The thing about this kind of sport is that, every day, you are going to come across people who are younger and more talented than you, so, if you can’t keep up, you’ll be forgotten. Every time I have a competition, aside from proper planning, I also do research on my opponents; like what are their specialties and tricks. For me, that’s basically how we can improve ourselves.

5. Who inspires you? And what’s your advice to those who are interested but don’t know where to start?

I look up to Soufiane Tuzani, a Dutch-Moroccan freestyle footballer, and Sean Garnier who hails from France. They are the source of my inspiration. If you’re interested in panna but don’t know where to start, you can get the ball rolling by doing research and following big names in the industry on social media platforms. Once you’re confident enough to showcase your skills, you can join tournaments and competitions.

In support of the sport, we are thrilled to share that Futsal.Asia’s Pesta Futsal Rakyat Piala Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad 2019 features panna as one of the categories that players can contest in.

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