Social Wrap: Highs and lows
Kuala Lumpur: As teams stepped up their preparations for the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 with the latest round of friendlies, the-AFC.com roams social media to see what the continent's stars have been up to.
Proud moments, boots drama, milestone celebrations, festive mood and medical updates all feature in our inaugural selection of posts for the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 social wrap.
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Basking in glory
Qatar left-back Abdelkarim Hassan was named the AFC Player of the Year 2018 on Wednesday. The 25-year-old defender took to Twitter to express his pride with the award. Hassan is the second Qatari to win the award after former Al Sadd teammate Khalfan Ibrahim in 2006.
من لا يشكر الناس لا يشكر الله 🙏🏼— Abdulkarim hassan عبدالكريم حسن (@k1i9m9o3) November 28, 2018
اهدي هذه الفوز الى صاحب سمو الامير تميم بن حمد ال ثاني و سمو الشيخ جاسم بن حمد ال ثاني واشكر زملائي واخواني اللاعبين وكل من ساندني في الحصول على هذه الجائزة و بأذن الله القادم افضل ♥️🇶🇦 شكرا لكم من القلب #قطر_تستحق_الأفضل_من_أبنائها pic.twitter.com/D7n9EMF80k
The Phillippines captain Phil Younghusband was forced to go emergency shopping for a new pair of boots after his side's first game in the 2018 AFF Cup. The new pair proved a good omen as Younghusband scored in the following match against Timor-Leste, and the Azkals went on to reach the semi-finals where they face Vietnam on Sunday.
View this post on Instagram
So I cleaned my football boots the day after our first group game vs Singapore. I looked at my shoes and saw a big dirt mark on the front. I scrubbed over it aggressively only to find out it wasn’t dirt, it was a huge hole 🙈 how the heck did that happen?! Didn’t feel that during the game 🤨 I could fit two fingers through the tear. Unfortunately, I only brought one pair of moulds with me on this trip and I couldn’t play the next game with a huge hole in my boots. So after arriving in Malaysia last night, I was able to get myself another pair just in time for training today and the game tomorrow. Watch out for me in our game vs Timor Leste tomorrow at 8pm, I will be the one wearing the Adidas school shoes haha 😂 hopefully these will be some lucky boots! 👢😁 #soccer #football #sports #philippines #happy #boots #adidas #new #timorleste #malaysia #affsuzukicup #southeastasia
Meeting an idol
UAE goalkeeper Khaled Eisa will have been inspired by the visit of legendary custodian Muhsin Musabah to the Whites' recent training camp in Dubai. Musabah won 105 caps for the host nation and was the man between the sticks in 1996 when they reached the final. He was also the UAE's goalkeeper in their only FIFA World Cup appearance in 1990. Eisa has donned the number 17 jersey worn by his idol for his entire career.
M17..❤️🙏🏽 pic.twitter.com/qs1YU3igw6— خالد عيسى (@Khalid_eissa17) November 14, 2018
Japan and Hannover 96 forward Takuma Asano is getting into the festive season mood nice and early. The 24-year-old missed out on the Samurai Blue's squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, but has since earned a call up by coach Hajime Moriyasu and will hope to be on the plane to the UAE at the end of the holiday season.
IR Iran players shared a cake on the training pitch to celebrate Ehsan Hajsafi's 100th cap for Team Melli. The 28-year-old completed a century of international appearances in the 1-0 win over Trinidad and Tobago at Azadi Stadium. Hajsafi is preparing to compete in his third AFC Asian Cup, having been part of the squad in 2011 and 2015.
Iraq's Justin Meram has officially ruled himself out of the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 after undergoing surgery on his left ankle. The Columbus Crew winger tweeted an apology to the Lions of Mesopotamia fans and vowed to come back stronger. Speedy recovery, Justin!
Surgery was nothing serious but to be back stronger and healthier for next season. To the people of Iraq 🇮🇶, my Iraqi teammates, coaches and the Iraqi federation, I am sorry I cannot compete in the 2019 @afcasiancup. I will be your biggest fan from home 🙏🏼🙌🏼GOOD LUCK #Lions 🦁 pic.twitter.com/6XJbFeRB8V— Justin Meram (@JustinMeram) November 17, 2018
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