Kuala Lumpur: Persepolis FC goalkeeper Hamed Lak is Asia’s Choice for the Best AFC Champions League Player of 2020.
The 30-year-old shot-stopper resoundingly won the award, which recognises the best performer in the 2020 AFC Champions League season, based on votes from a combination of fans and independent experts.
Lak prevailed ahead of Ulsan Hyundai FC midfielder Yoon Bit-garam, who finished second having received the official award for the competition’s Most Valuable Player following the final in Doha on December 19.
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Despite Persepolis’ defeat in the decider, Lak was instrumental in their charge through the tournament, with the Iranian side stringing together seven successive matches without conceding from open play.
In the eight games during the competition which featured Lak, Persepolis conceded a total of four goals - three of which were scored directly from penalty kicks. The other was conceded after Lak saved a Júnior Negrão spot-kick in the final, with the Brazilian striker converting from the rebound.
Making his achievement all the more impressive, Lak only joined Persepolis in September before keeping a total five clean sheets in eight appearances.
How they finished: Asia’s Choice – Best AFC Champions League of 2020
Top 10 Total Points
- Hamed Lak – Persepolis FC 47.14
- Yoon Bit-garam - Ulsan Hyundai 19.62
- Bashar Resan – Persepolis FC 11.36
- Abderrazak Hamdallah - Al Nassr 7.53
- Júnior Negrão - Ulsan Hyundai 6.54
- Renato Augusto - Beijing FC 3.06
- Shoja Khalilzadeh – Persepolis FC 1.67
- Sultan Al Ghannam - Al Nassr 1.19
- Jaloliddin Masharipov - Pakhtakor 0.66
- Kyogo Furuhashi - Vissel Kobe 0.54
While Yoon departed Doha with the dual rewards of the AFC Champions League title and tournament MVP honours, the Asia’s Choice format delivered Lak a commanding win with 47.14 points.
Persepolis’ Bashar Reshan finished third, while Abderrazak Hamdallah and Júnior Negrão – the competition's two top goal scorers with seven apiece – finished fourth and fifth respectively.
The team success of Ulsan Hyundai and Persepolis was reflected in the voting, with five of the top seven players provided by the two finalists.
About Asia’s Choice – 2020 Fan Awards
The winners of each Asia’s Choice – 2020 Fan Awards category were supplied by hundreds of thousands of fan votes, as well as votes from an independent panel of experts comprising veteran journalists Michael Church and Wael Jabir and Matchday Asia pundit Rhysh Roshan Rai.
Fan votes were given a 60 percent weighting, with the remaining 40 percent contributed by the expert panel, culminating in a combined, points-based total for each shortlisted player.
The Asia’s Choice – 2020 Fan Awards are not intended to act as a replacement for the official AFC Annual Awards, but to serve as an opportunity for Asian football’s loyal fans to lend their voice to determining the continent’s best.
Photos: AFP, AFC
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