AFC Player of the Year: Nassir Al Shamrani
Manila: Saudi Arabia’s Nassir Al Shamrani has been named AFC Player of the Year at the AFC Annual Awards 2014 held in the Philippines on Sunday.
Al Shamrani won the accolade ahead of Al Ain’s Ismail Ahmed and Khalfan Ibrahim who plays for Qatar side Al Sadd.
Top scorer or joint-top scorer in five of the past seven seasons in Saudi Arabia’s top flight, the Al Hilal striker displayed his prolific talent to a wider audience as the forward lit up this year’s AFC Champions League.
Al Shamrani scored ten goals for the Saudi outfit which saw them finish runners-up in this season’s competition.
"I am extremely proud of being named AFC Player of the Year, it’s really a dream for each player to be the Player of the Year. I cannot really describe in words how happy and proud I am of receiving this great prize," said Al Shamrani after being presented the award by AFC President Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa.
"When you are nominated with two other great players like Khalfan and Ismail who are competing with you for the prize, there were times when I was thinking I may or may not win, as they are very good players challenging with me. After a long journey coming here from Saudi Arabia, waiting for the day and the minute to come, I am very, very happy that I got it.
"But really the award is recognition of the whole of Al Hilal; it’s an award that I have been given as a result of teamwork: of the whole Al Hilal team, the managers and all the players. I say to them it is not just me winning this prize but it’s for all of us. They are the ones who put me in this position to win this prize.
"While winning this award does not lessen the sadness I feel after losing the final of the AFC Champions League – as I wanted to claim both this and the AFC Champions League title for Al Hilal – I am still very proud to win this trophy, I thank God for it, and thank everyone at Al Hilal Club."