Kuala Lumpur: After nearly 90,000 votes, the fans' best XI from AFC Champions League 2016 has been decided with some of that year's biggest Continental names making the final cut.
The 2016 AFC Champions League was indeed a memorable edition of Asia's more presitigious club competition and thanks to the tens of thousands of Asian football fans we have a worthy best XI to present.
Presented below are the 11 players that were chosen according to public polls 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: Mohammad Rashid Mazaheri – Zobahan
- 8 appearances, 5 goals conceded
- 5 clean sheets (#1 tied)
- 85.3% save percentage – (#1 of those with at least 8 appearances in the
With 64% of the votes, the Iranian shotstopper was chosen ahead of Al Ain's Khalid Eisa (27%) and Ignatiy Nesterov of Lokomotiv (5%).
OPTA Pick: Khaled Eisa (Al Ain)
Fans' Pick: Ali Hamam – Zobahan
- 76% passing accuracy
- 2 assists (#1 by a defender)
- 80% tackle success rate
Zobahan's former Lebanon international Ali Hamam (59%) edged out Tractorsazi Tabriz's Mohammad Iranpourian (31%) to take the right side of our back three, while Ahmed Al Yassi of Al Nasr was further behind in the popular vote (9%)
OPTA Pick: Ahmed Al Yassi (Al Nassr)
Fan's Pick: Mohammed Ahmed – Al Ain
- 85% passing accuracy
- 27 tackles won (#1 for a defender)
- 13 interceptions
It was also a close-run thing for the centre of our backline, with three Al Ain defenders all in the running. Ultimately, though, Mohammed Ahmed (41%) edged out Ismail Ahmed (32%) and Mohannad Salem (13%)
OPTA Pick: Ismail Ahmed
Fans' Pick: Mohammed Fayez – Al Ain
- 37 interceptions (#4 for a defender)
- 23 tackles won (#3 for a defender)
- 51 duels won (#5 for a defender)
A second Al Ain man completes our rearguard on the left-hand side as Mohammed Fayez (61%) saw off the challenge of compatriot Mahmoud Khamis of Al Nasr (21%) and Shanghai SIPG's Yu Hai (9%).
OPTA Pick: Mahmoud Khamis (Al Nasr)
Fans' Pick: Ehsan Pahlavan – Zobahan
- 3 goals scored
- 76.8% passing accuracy
- 60% shot conversation rate (#1 by a midfielder)
Receiving more votes than any other midfielder, Iranian winger Ehsan Pahlavan (35%) takes on the left-side of our four-man midfield while superstar Omar Abdulrahman (33%) occupies the space on the opposite flank.
The two central positions are taken up by representatives from the K-League with FC Seoul's Osmar (14%) anchoring our midfield and former Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors midfielder Lee Jae-sung (6%), who narrowly edged out Wu Lei (5%) and Leonardo (5%), adds guile and grace.
OPTA Pick: Omar Abdulrahman (Al Ain), Leonardo (Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors), Lee Jae-sung (Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors), Wu Lei (Shanghai SIPG)
Fans' Pick: Abderazak Hamdallah – El Jaish
- 4 goals scored
- 3 assists
- 26.7% shot conversation rate
In what proved to be a hugely popular candidate, prolific striker Abderazak Hamdallah (71%) gained the most votes among fans and takes the central position of our three-man attack. He is flanked by 2016 teammate Romarinho (21%) and Al Ain's Douglas (3%) who narrowly edged out the competition's top scorer Adriano (2%)
OPTA Pick: Adriano (FC Seoul), Douglas (Al Ain), Romarinho (El Jaish)
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