Indonesia National Football Team – History, Achievements, and Legendary Players

So many Indonesians love to play football as one of the popular sports in Indonesia. They also love and are very loyal to support the national team. They love to wear the national team jerseys which are so easy to buy either in a modern or a traditional market in Indonesia.

Indonesia national football team is also known as Timnas, Tim Garuda, or Tim Merah Putih. The team is controlled by the Football Association of Indonesia (PSSI – Persatuan Sepakbola Seluruh Indonesia). 

The History

Indonesia national football team was born far before the Indonesian independence was declared by Soekarno, the first president of Indonesia in 1945. Before the year of 1945, the name of the national team is the Dutch East Indies national football team. The team played a lot of matches, but PSSI did not admit them.

Even though the matches played by the Dutch East Indies national football team are not recognized by PSSI, the World Football Elo ratings claims the matches as the first matches played by Indonesian national team.

In 1921, the Dutch East Indies national football team played their first match. The match was held in Jakarta, as the team played against the Singaporean football team.

The next matches were played in 1928, 1934, 1938, and in 1950’s. The team played a lot of matches, such as matches against Australia and Shanghai, even the team also participated in the 1938 FIFA World Cup.

From time to time, the Indonesia national football team have done some improvements on their performance. Though the results are not always good, the team have always became one of the reasons why Indonesians love football so much.

The Best Achievements

As football becomes everyone’s favorite sport in Indonesia, the Indonesia national football team also becomes part of it.

With these facts, the Indonesia national football team always have a dream to won as many trophies as possible. Here are some of the Indonesia national football team best achievements:

1. The 1938 FIFA World Cup

In 1938, under the name of Dutch East Indies national football team, Indonesia became the first country from Asia which participated in the FIFA World Cup. Indonesia played against the Hungary football team but they were beaten by 6-0.

2. The 1961 Merdeka Games

In the 1961 Merdeka Games, Indonesia played against the Malaysia national team. A 2-1 win over the Malaysia national team made the Indonesia national football team become the champions of the tournament.

3. The 1972 Pesta Sukan 

In the 1972 Pesta Sukan in Singapore, the Indonesia national football team had two teams – A team and B team – to compete in the tournament.

Both of the teams reached the final and made the Indonesia national football team brilliantly win the trophy.

In the semifinal the A team won over the Cambodia national team with the last score of 5-0.

On the other hand, the B team also won over the Hongkong football team with the last score of 4-0.

After that the A team won over the B team in the final and that era is claimed as the golden era of the Indonesia national football team.

4. The 1991 SEA Games Manila

In the 1991 SEA Games in Manila, Indonesia won over Thailand. The Indonesia team beat Thailand with the last score of 4-3.

Before reaching the final, Indonesia won over Singapore on penalty kicks. The vibes of being champions were celebrated in all over Indonesia as if the people were celebrating new years in Indonesia.

5. The 2013 U-19 AFF Cup

In the AFF U-19 Youth Championship which was held in Indonesia, the Indonesia national under-19 football team became the winners of the tournament.

The team won over the Vietnam national football team with the last score of 7-6 on penalties. While celebrating the victory, the players joyfully waved the flag of Indonesia on the pitch.

The Legendary Players

The Indonesia national football team have many great players from era to era. Here are some best and legendary players who had played for the Indonesia national football team:

1. Ronny Pattinasarany

Ronny Pattinasarany was a talented playmaker in the Indonesia national football team in 1973. He was the captain of the team in 1982.

He was known for his scoring ability from the outside of the penalty box. His amazing skills helped the team to win the silver medal in the 1971 and 1981 SEA Games.

2. Fakhri Husaini

Fakhri Husaini was a part of the Indonesia national football team in 1986-1997. He scored 13 goals in 42 games for the team. In the 1997 SEA Games, he helped the team to win the silver medal.

3. Ponirin Meka

Ponirin Meka was a great goalkeeper in the Indonesia national football team. He successfully helped the team to be the winners of the 1986 and 1987 SEA Games.

4. Ronny Pasla

Ronny Pasla was known as the best goalkeeper in the Indonesia national football team in 1972. The best phenomenal moment in his career as a goalkeeper was when he amazingly denied Pele’s penalty during a friendly match between Indonesia vs Brasil.

5. Robby Darwis

Robby Darwis played an important role in the Indonesia national football team achievements. One of his best achievements was when he helped the team to win the gold medal in the 1986 and 1991 SEA Games.