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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.

Lucky pair

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.

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.

Feeling festive

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.


Centennial Hajsafi

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.

Missing out

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!

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