Away on Father's Day, Irfan Fandi strives to make Fandi Ahmad proud

Irfan Fandi was destined to have a lifetime of pressure and unrealistic expectations from the moment was born.

But the son of national icon Fandi Ahmad, widely regarded as Singapore's greatest-ever footballer, has fully embraced the role.

At 22-years-old, Irfan is trying to follow in his father's footsteps -- a man who scored against European giants Inter Milan in a continental tie while playing for Dutch outfit Groningen -- by plying his trade overseas with current club BG Pathum United in Thai League 1.

This also means Irfan will be away from Fandi on Father's Day on Sunday.

"When I was younger, people wouldn't know me and they would just call me 'Fandi Ahmad's son'," Irfan told ESPN in an exclusive interview. "Nowadays, people recognise me for who I am and call me by my own name and I'm happy to hear that but, at the same time, I wouldn't mind being called 'Fandi Ahmad's son'.

"It's a huge name in Singapore and Asia. It's an honour to carry this name and all I can do is carry it well and keep the reputation really high for him."

Fandi's role as an assistant on the Singapore national team means there have been many occasions where he had to be tough on his children -- two of his other sons, Ikhsan and Ilhan, are also professional footballers

"To be honest, I miss the car rides [after a match], which would usually start with a long lecture," Irfan said with a laugh. "...Those drives home are the times I treasure the most because he would be honest and tell me what I didn't do well and need to do better in. Those times you know he really cares."

A national legend and a protege son. How does Irfan see his famous father?

"He's the person whom I look up to the most," Irfan said. "He didn't grow up with much; all these stories I've heard about him selling nasi lemak. "For me, it's not that it was easy when I was growing up, but I had a lot there for me. My pathway as a footballer was set.

"All I can do is repay him by giving the best in my career and making him proud."