The Best ACL2019 XI announced!
Kuala Lumpur: Just a day before the 2020 AFC Champions League finally resumes, the-AFC.com brings you the all-star team, as voted by the fans, from the 2019 edition.
It will come as no surprise that a number of Al Hilal's tournament-winning side made the line-up after their impressive displays throughout and they are joined by four other standout performers from the most recently completed competition.
Below are the 11 players voted by the public on the-AFC.com, while an XI by OPTA, the official statistics provider for the AFC, is also included as a comparison.
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Fans' Pick: Abdullah Al Mayoof – Al Hilal
Collecting a huge majority of the votes, the popular Al Hilal custodian and 2019 winner was out in front by some distance, with Urawa Red Diamonds 'keeper and 2019 runner-up Shusaku Nishikawa coming second.
OPTA Pick: Shusaku Nishikawa (Urawa Red Diamonds)
Fans' Pick: Mohammed Barqesh – Al Wahda
Al Wahda's attacking full-back Mohammed Barqesh (62%) was way out in front ahead of Al Hilal's Mohammed Al Burayk (37%), Urawa Red Diamonds' Daiki Hashioka (1%) and Guangzhou Evergrande's Zhang Linpeng (1%).
OPTA Pick: Daiki Hashioka (Urawa Red Diamonds)
Fans' Pick: Ali Al Bulayhi – Al Hilal
Al Hilal's Ali Al Bulayhi clinched the fans' vote for centre-back and he partners Al Sadd defender Tarek Salman in our rearguard.
Salman edged Al Ittihad's Ziyad Al Sahafi, while Park Ji-soo of Guangzhou Evergrande, Urawa's Tomoaki Makino and Sanfrecce Hiroshima's Hayato Araki were also in the running.
OPTA Pick: Ali Al Bulayhi (Al Hilal), Park Ji-soo (Guangzhou Evergrande)
Fans' Pick: Yasser Al Shahrani – Al Hilal
Al Hilal full-back Yasser Al Shahrani has been among the top-performing defenders in the AFC Champions League for many a year and the fans overwhelmingly voted for him to be the starting left-back for the Best XI.
Abdelkarim Hassan of Al Sadd was some way behind in second place, while Shanghai SIPG's Yu Hai and Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors full-back Kim Jin-su were also nominated.
OPTA Pick: Yasser Al Shahrani (Al Hilal)
Fans' Pick: Salem Al Dawsari – Al Hilal
A goalscorer in the 2019 final, Salem Al Dawsari was in stellar form in the business rounds of the competition and, like Al Shahrani, was a hugely popular candidate in this category.
Al Dawsari takes the left side of our three-man midfield with Brazilian pair Giuliano (Al Nassr) and Leonardo (Al Wahda), who received the second and third most votes respectively, taking up the other two spots.
OPTA Picks: Leonardo (Al Wahda), Giuliano (Al Nassr), Oscar (Shanghai SIPG)
Fans' Pick: Bafetimbi Gomis – Al Hilal
The tournament's top scorer and MVP, it comes as no surprise that Bafetimbi Gomis was selected by the fans as the main striker to lead the line for the best XI of the 2019 tournament.
Al Ahli Saudi's Syrian star Omar Al Soma joins Gomis in the attacking trio as the next highest voted in the poll, while another Al Hilal forward, Sebastian Giovinco, edged out Al Sadd pair Akram Afif and Baghdad Bounedjah to take the final spot and round out our line-up.
OPTA Picks: Bafetimbi Gomis (Al Hilal), Shinzo Koroki (Urawa Red Diamonds), Omar Al Soma (Al Ahli Saudi)
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