Published On: Mon, Dec 24th, 2018

The Best Footballer in Asia 2018

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With the year ending soon, the Best Footballer in Asia 2018, is just around the corner. The nomination is open to all the jurors for the first time, and after two-weeks of nomination stage with the committee, a 24-man nominee list will be announced for the individual footballing award. If you are into online gaming and roulette with Genting, we know you love football too.

Yuma Suzuki (Kashima Antlers)

Asian Football on the Right Track

This year has been a big one for Asian football, with the AFC teams bagging at least one point in the 2018 FIFA World Cup, which surprisingly happened for the first time, ever since the tournament expanded to 32 teams.

Let us name a few who played tremendously well, followed by a list of 24 nominees.

1. Yuma Suzuki (Kashima Antlers) – Yuma Suzuki has given spectacular performances leading him to the tournament’s most valuable player honour. This 22 years old footballer, made his first team debut in 2014 and has made about 140 appearances for the Japanese side recording 45 goals and 22 assists.

2. Kento Misao (Kashima Antlers) – Misao is considered the Ace in the Antler’s victory, given a tackle success rate of 70.8% and also for providing the key assist in the first leg in the final. His entry in the team was back in 2016 from Tokyo Verdy. He has made about 80 appearances for the Antlers.

Kento Misao was named in Japan’s preliminary team, for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. However, he couldn’t make it to the 23-man squad back then. Nevertheless, his contribution towards Antlers has got him numerous recognition.

3. Abdelkarim Hassan (Al Sadd) – Hassan made his first debut with the team in 2010 and was the youngest footballer to feature in AFC Champions League 2011, while just being 17 years old. He was named the Young Player of the Year in 2012 and 2013 Qatar Star League.
His experienced a next level to his career when he was loaned out to Belgian side Eupen, and he made 10 appearances there before he returned to Al Sadd. This was quite an inspiration for the team to a semi-final finish in the AFC Champion League 2018.

4. Sunil Chhetri (Bengaluru) – Just like the last year, Sunil Chhetri has his name on the 24-man list. This Indian forward made 33 appearances for Bengaluru FC and bagged 22 goals in the AFC CUP, Indian Super League and Super Cup.
There hasn’t been a single Indian footballer winning an award like that and getting recognition among such elite players. This is definitely a significant achievement for Sunil Chhetri as well as for the Indian Football.

The 24-man nominee list:

• Akram Afif – Al Sadd (Qatar)
• Alireza Beiranvand – Persepolis (Iran)
• Marcus Berg – Al Ain (United Arab Emirates)
• Baghdad Bounedjah – Al Sadd (Qatar)
• Sunil Chhetri – Bengaluru (India)
• Neil Etheridge – Cardiff City (Wales)
• Salman Al Faraj – Al Hilal (Saudi Arabia)
• Makoto Hasebe – Eintracht Frankfurt (Germany)
• Abdelkarim Hassan – Al Sadd (Qatar)
• Hwang Ui-jo – Gamba Osaka (Japan)
• Takashi Inui – Eibar (Spain)/Real Betis (Spain)
• Alireza Jahanbakhsh – AZ Alkmaar (Netherlands)/ Brighton & Hove Albion (England)
• Cho Hyun-woo – Daegu (Korea Republic)
• Valery Kichin – Yenisey (Russia)
• Kwoun Sun-tae – Kashima Antlers (Japan)
• Aaron Mooy – Huddersfield Town (England)
• Nguyen Quang Hai – Hà Nội (Vietnam)
• Yuya Osako – Koln (Germany)/ Werder Bremen (Germany)
• Matthew Ryan – Brighton & Hove Albion (England)
• Serginho – America Mineiro (Brazil)/Kashima Antlers (Japan)
• Gen Shoji – Kashima Antlers (Japan)
• Son Heung-min – Tottenham Hotspur (England)
• Yuma Suzuki – Kashima Antlers (Japan)
• Wu Lei – Shanghai SIPG (China)

About the Author

- Paul Linus is an eminent online journalist who has been writing news, features and editorials on different websites from across the world for about a decade. He can be contacted at

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