Rudolf Yanto Basna: The Football Golden Boy from Papua

His big and tall figure moves with surety and discipline when guarding the line of defense. His name is Rudolf Yanto Basna. He was born in Sorong, Papua on 12 June of 1995 and he is the new rising star of the national football.

In Papua, it is normal to name a child when he/she is already a bit older. The same goes with Rudolf Yanto Basna. His first name, Rudolf, was given by his parents because whenever he was given money, he would always asked for the one hundred thousand rupiah currency with the picture of Wage Rudolf Supratman. His journey in the football world shows that his achievements does not fare far from the highest Indonesian currency, top notch.

He is only 20 years and already shows great potentials in his position as a centre-back. Currently, he is enrolled in a public University in Jogjakarta as one of the fourth semester student majoring in sports science. The name Yanto Basna started to shine when he was playing in Mitra Kukar during the Jenderal Sudirman Cup in the end of 2015. Yanto Basna  was dubbed as the next generation golden boy from Papua. He is considered by many as a complete package as a defense for the Garuda team, the nick name for Indonesian national team.

Unlike other football players from Papua who choose to stay and develop themselves in their homeland, his journey outside of Papua has started young. He studied in a high school in Jakarta as a part of the training and education program of junior football team in Ragunan. At a very young age, he is already known as a talented defender.

He was included in Sociedad Anónima Deportiva (sports corporation) Indonesia that was sent to Uruguay. He was also one of the personnel of Garuda Jaya, the U-19 (Under 19) national team. He played well with U-19 in Cotif Cup and he was even being trusted as a captain. His achievements was acknowledged by Indra Sjafri, a football manager from west Sumatra. He then included Rudolf in his squad to compete in U-20 Asian Cup in Myanmar. Unfortunately he had an accident that injured his ligament and was instructed to be non active for three months. It happened during the U-19 preparation for Sidoarjo tournament (U-19 ASEAN Football Federation). In the end he didn’t go to Myanmar but that didn’t deter his passion.

Finally, his hard work is fruitful. Mitra Kukar made a contract with him for two years. The height is when he successfully brought Mitra Kukar as the champion for Jenderal Sudirman Cup of 2015. Moreover, when he was honored as the best player of the tournament. He played brilliantly in every match and has made many strikers succumb when facing him.

At first, many people thought that he’s a foreign player from Cameroon or Nigeria with his dark skin. His straightforward and no compromise but calm performance is deemed as above the national players’ quality. During defense, his calm demeanor makes him almost able to do anything that a good centre-back should do. He is tactical during defense, capable in one on one and often win in aerial duel. He is accurate in tackling, capable of cooperating the back line, and most importantly, dare to take the risks.

His position in Mitra Kukar was undoubtedly irreplaceable. According to the club manager, he stands out the most among his team players his age. Many counter attacks from Mitra Kukar often comes from him. However, when he is tired, his concentration gets low and his tackles become less effective. In order to handle his shortcoming, Yanto has to deal with his interception ability.

After he had helped in defending Mitra Kukar, he then joined the club that made his name rise even more; Persib Bandung. Initially, he was having difficulties adapting since he was positioned in the right-back post, instead of centre-back, his old position in Mitra Kukar. However, along the time, Yanto Basna is back to centre-back and starts to show his potentials.

rudolf yanto basna
Rudolf Yanto Basna via


With all his bright achievements, it doesn’t mean that his career in football is without challenges. One of the main reason of Indonesia’s failure to enter U-23 Asian Cup of 2015 was deemed caused by Rudolf’s leg injury. This is still one of the biggest setback in his career.

When he played in National Team, he had many slanders from the supporters of the national team. He was deemed unfit to defend the National team during the Suzuki AFF Cup of 2016. His performance was considered bad during this AFF Cup of 2016. When he was absent in the first leg, many people were relieved. Moreover when his replacement played well, he was even further shunned.

However, there are still a lot others who believe that Rudolf would become the future star of the national Team of Indonesia. Many people in the social media timeline gave support. The fact is, at a very young age of 20 years old, he has already become the core player of his team. He has shown great potentials in football. From his current performance, seems like the Indonesian football lovers would see him in the senior National Team uniform.

When he was asked, whether as a Papuan son he has the desire to defend Persipura, he said of course that desire exist. However, currently, he needs to learn and challenge him self before he returns to his homeland.

“I was born in Jayapura, and of course Persipura (Jayapura Football Club) is my favorite team. Every Papuan kid’s idol is Persipura. The desire to play for Persipura of course exist, but right now, I still want to learn to be better. I still need to learn more. When I’m already established, I will come back,” said Yanto.


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