Complete guide to official UAE 2019 squads
Abu Dhabi: With just nine days to go to the greatest AFC Asian Cup in history, the largest-ever cast of 24 teams have announced their final list of 23 players as the attention of the footballing world shifts to the United Arab Emirates.
Football fans from across the globe will feast their eyes on the abundance of talent from the 552 players selected and leading the way is none other than Uzbekistan’s Ignatiy Nesterov who is in line to join an exclusive elite group to feature in a record fifth AFC Asian Cup tournament.
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Among the stellar cast of returning players include Japan’s Maya Yoshida, UAE’s Ali Mabkhout (pictured below) who claimed the Top Goal Scorer Award at the last edition in Australia, Islamic Republic of Iran’s Alireza Jahanbakhsh and Korea Republic’s Son Heung-min who scored the equaliser in the Taeguk Warrriors’ narrow defeat to the host in the 2015 final.
Meanwhile, the Socceroos, who will begin their title defence against Jordan on January 6, will be banking on the depth and expertise of reliable stars who have tasted success on the ultimate stage.
In custodian Mathew Ryan, Trent Sainsbury (pictured below, centre), Mark Milligan, Massimo Luongo, Robbie Kruse and Mathew Leckie, the Australians have confirmed in their ranks six experienced players who started the final four years ago when the Socceroos clinched the title for the first time following their famous 2-1 extra-time victory over Korea Republic in Sydney.
Amidst the plethora of dazzling megastars, the AFC Asian Cup has undoubtedly set the stage for the Continent’s rising talents to leave their marks on the most prestigious showpiece.
Uzbekistan’s Dostonbek Khamdamov and Japan’s Ritsu Doan (pictured below), AFC Youth Player of the Year winners in 2015 and 2016 respectively, have also made the final 23 and will be hoping for breakout performances at the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019.
Teams are allowed to replace their players from the final list of 23 up to 6 hours before their first match but can only do so from the 50 players registered in the preliminary list.
For the final list of 23 of all 24 participating teams, please click here.
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