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Social Wrap: International Duty, Jet Setters & Family Time

Thursday, September 12, 2019
Oscar (birthday)

Kuala Lumpur: With the focus having firmly been on the opening games of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023 Asian Qualifiers, the AFC Champions League has taken a back seat in recent weeks. 

Whether on international duty, jetting off far and wide or simply enjoying some downtime with their families, the players still involved in the Continental competition have remained active on social media, though. Here's's look at some of the highlights.

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Many Happy Returns

Shanghai SIPG’s star midfielder Oscar celebrated his 28th birthday on Monday with a night out on the city’s famous waterfront. 

The Brazilian will be hoping to light up Saitama Stadium when the Chinese champions take on Urawa Red Diamonds next Tuesday.

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Mais um ano de vida 🙏🏻 Sempre buscando melhorar cada vez mais. Obrigado familia, amigos e fans por sempre estarem ao meu lado. #BdayOscar 🎉

A post shared by Oscar Emboaba (@oscar_emboaba) on

Like Father, Like Son

Al Ittihad captain Carlos Villanueva’s son, Franco, set foot on the King Abdullah Sports City pitch for the first time. 

If he has anything like the footballing talent of his father, fans of the Jeddah club will hope he, too, turns out for The Tigers in years to come.

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Franco’s first time in the club with me ❤️😍 Thanks for the beautiful pictures bro 📸 @renoo70

A post shared by Carlos Villanueva (@carlosvillanueva10) on

Cup Success

While the J.League may have been on a break, there has still been J.League Cup action in Japan, and Kashima Antlers will hope their win against Urawa can lead to further Continental success.

After advancing to the semi-finals of the domestic competition, Shoma Doi now aims to do the same when the holders take on Guangzhou Evergrande next Wednesday.

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皆さんの応援のおかげでルヴァン杯準決勝に進出することができました。次も頑張ります! #ルヴァン杯#浦和戦#準決勝進出#担架乗ったの#初めてかも#笑

A post shared by 土居聖真 (@doi.shoma_official) on

Divine Inspiration

Another player who took advantage of the time off was Bafetimbi Gomis, who swapped Asia for Africa as he headed to the Senegalese capital, Dakar. 

After visiting one of the city’s beautiful mosques, the Frenchman will hope he returns to Riyadh with the divine inspiration to fire Al Hilal past rivals Al Ittihad on Tuesday.

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أتمنى للجميع عطلة نهاية أسبوع جيدة ، الله معاكم ✨ Have a good weekend everyone, God is on control ✨

A post shared by Gomis (@bafetimbigomis) on

Fighting Fit

There has been no respite for Urawa Red Diamonds’ Kenyu Sugimuto, meanwhile, with the striker partaking in this somewhat unusual exercise routine. 

The 26-year-old explained that it is designed to help balance and movement – will the proof be in the pudding when the 2017 champions host Shanghai early next week?







— 杉本健勇 | Kenyu Sugimoto (@varenti41) September 7, 2019

Homecoming Hero

Prolific Al Sadd frontman Baghdad Bounedjah returned to his native Algeria for a friendly match against Benin on Monday. 

Some 45,000 spectators turned out to see the side’s first home game – a 1-0 victory – since Bounedjah fired them to African Cup of Nations glory in July.

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A post shared by Baghdad Bonadjah (@baghdad_bounjah) on

Relaxing Vibes

After putting in a Man-of-the-Match performance in the first leg against Kashima, Guangzhou’s Anderson Talisca headed to the tropical paradise of the Thai islands. 

The Brazilian, who recently returned from a long injury lay-off, should be refreshed for the second leg as his team continue their quest for an unprecedented third AFC Champions League title.

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Enjoy the view 👌😉

A post shared by andersontalisca (@andersontalisca) on

Proud Moment

Al Nassr’s Omar Hawsawi led Saudi Arabia’s Green Falcons out in Thursday’s 1-1 friendly draw against Mali in Dammam and Tuesday's surprise 2-2 stalemate against Yemen in Bahrain.

Once he returns from international duty, his focus will turn to ensuring the Riyadh side can progress past Al Sadd into the last four, and a third successive draw would do just nicely.

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A post shared by Omar Hawsawi (@omar.4h) on

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