KUALA LUMPUR (Dispatches) - It was a footballing year like no other, but despite the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, Asia’s top players still delivered exceptional performances worthy of wider recognition.
For that reason, the-AFC.com invites you to cast your vote in Asia’s Choice – Fan Awards: AFC Best International Player in 2020, which is open to men’s players registered to clubs outside the Asian continent.
In line with the previous Asia’s Choice – Fan Awards categories, 60 percent of the votes are to be directly supplied by fans, and the winners to be revealed on January 24.
A three-time AFC International Player of the Year, Son enjoyed a superb 2020, earning a stack of accolades including Tottenham’s Player of the Season, KFA Player of the Year and the FIFA Puskás Award for the most beautiful goal in world football.
A total 22 goals for Tottenham in the calendar year only goes part of the way to describing his brilliance, with this ability to create for his teammates – most notably Harry Kane – every bit as impressive.
(Rio Ave, FC Porto/IRN)
Few Asian players outside the continent experienced such a transformative year as Taremi, who finished equal top scorer in the Portuguese top-flight, subsequently earning a move to one of the country’s biggest clubs.
Thirteen of his 21 goals for Rio Ave came in 2020, with a further six coming in the colours of FC Porto, as well as one in a rare international outing for Team Melli, as Taremi confirmed his status as one of Asia’s top strikers.
A total 21 goals in all competitions, three pieces of silverware and equal billing with teammate Artem Dzyuba as the Russian Premier League’s top scorer made 2020 a year to remember for Sardar Azmoun,
He scored multiple goals in a match on no less than six occasions, playing a starring role as Zenit navigated a series of challenges to win the League, Cup and Super Cup.
The only shortlisted player based outside of Europe, Iraq’s Ali Adnan delivered a terrific 2020 campaign for Major League Soccer’s Vancouver Whitecaps, for whom he won the club’s Player of the Season and Goal of the Season Awards.
The attacking left-back led the club in several statistical categories, both attacking and defensive, and even found time to score the winning goal while captaining Iraq in a friendly against Uzbekistan in November.
One of a strong Asian contingent in the Belgian top-flight, and particularly at Charleroi, Gholizadeh prospered throughout 2020, delivering a string of excellent performances for the ambitious club.
A regular provider of goals and assists from his wide attacking midfielder role, Gholizadeh has shone in both domestic and continental action to establish himself as a key player.