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 By John Duerden

Indonesia need more superstars like Michael Essien for 2018 season

PJ Roberts assesses if Rafael van der Vaart is suited for a move to Indonesian club Bali United.

After making the 2016 final, Indonesia will fancy their chances at November's AFF Suzuki Cup, which will introduce a new home-and-away format for the group stage.

But ASEAN success is just one of the hopes for Southeast Asia's most populous nation.

Here are five 2018 football wishes for Indonesia.

1. More big names

The build-up to the 2017 Indonesia Liga One season was sent into the stratosphere by the arrival of five world stars. Michael Essien, Didier Zokora, Mohamed Sissoko, Peter Odemwingie,...

 By Paul Murphy

Indonesia giants Persija Jakarta links up with Korean champs Jeonbuk

Indonesia Liga 1 side Persija Jakarta have announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with newly-crowned K-League champions Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors.

The agreement was confirmed on Monday by Persija's Chief Commercial Officer Andhika Suksmana and Jeonbuk President Seung Gwon-baek at the Jeonju World Cup Stadium in South Korea.

The MoU covers various potential areas of cooperation between the two clubs, and there will be a particular focus on the development of young players.

The...

 By John Duerden

Bhayangkara stunned by PSM to blow open Indonesia title race

Robert Alberts' PSM Makassar blew the Indonesian title race wide open on Thursday night with a 2-0 win at the home of Liga 1 leaders Bhayangkara.

With four games of the season remaining, the Sulawesi team moved into second, and a point behind Bhayangkara, who have now lost two successive league games just when a first title had moved into sight.

Both goals came early in the second half and both came from corners.

Wiljan Pluim opened the scoring three minutes after the restart. The Dutch midfielder...

 By John Duerden

Shane Smeltz in form in Indonesia ahead of New Zealand games

FC's Jason Dasey recalls his time working with legendary Aussie soccer commentator Les Murray ahead of his state funeral.

Two-time A-League Golden Boot Shane Smeltz is finding his shooting boots at the right time in Indonesia's Liga 1 and it may spell bad news for Argentina.

The well-travelled New Zealand sharpshooter has scored in both his last two games for his Indonesian club Borneo. The sweetest strike was the only goal of a 1-0 win against local rivals Persiba Balikpapan on Monday.

"I was very pleased to get the winning goal," Smeltz told ESPN FC. "It was even better to score in a derby, and that is extra special....

 By John Duerden

Michael Essien's Persib Bandung slump to 12th in Indonesia after loss

TCL presents the story of Indonesian footballer Martunis, who after the 2004 Tsunami was offered the chance to meet Cristiano Ronaldo and train with Sporting Lisbon.
Michael Essien and Carlton Cole in Indonesia
Michael Essien has failed to bring success to Persib Bandung so far in the 2017 season.

Michael Essien completed his second 90 minutes of the season, but the former Real Madrid and Chelsea midfielder could not prevent Persib Bandung from losing 1-0 to Barito Putera on Sunday night to slip to 12th in Indonesia's Liga 1.

The defeat, a third of the season for the West Javan club, increases the pressure on coach Djadjang Nurdjaman, with Persib having now won just one of their last six league games. Both teams starting brightly. After 14 minutes, Carlton Cole made his first appearance since...