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The Best ACL2017 XI announced!


Kuala Lumpur: After more than 200,000 votes, the fans' Best XI from the 2017 AFC Champions League has been decided with an exciting array of talent making the final line-up.

The 2017 AFC Champions League was full of thrills and spills with breathtaking matches and standout performers and now, after taking a trip down memory lane in recent weeks, we present the 'Dream Team' as voted by you, the fans.

Below are the 11 players who made the cut on the 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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GOALKEEPER

Fans' Pick: Abdullah Al Mayoof – Al Hilal

  • 14 appearances, 13 goals conceded
  • 5 clean sheets (Joint #1 for a goalkeeper)
  • 42 saves (#1 for a goalkeeper), 75.5% save percentage

Collecting a huge 82% of the votes, the popular Al Hilal custodian and 2017 runner-up was out in front by some distance, with countryman and Al Ahli shot-stopper Yasser Al Mosailem (14%) coming second.

OPTA Pick: Abdullah Al Mayoof


DEFENDERS

Fans' Pick: Khosro HeydariEsteghlal

  • 14 chances created, 2 assists
  • 55 crosses attemped (#1 by a defender)
  • 43 open play crosses attemped (#1 by a defender)

Esteghlal legend Khosro Heydari (42%) pipped Sadegh Moharrami (41%) of fierce rivals Persepolis by the narrowest of margins as the poll for the competition's best right-back garnered more than 85,000 votes. Al Hilal's Mohammed Al Burayk (16%) came third.

OPTA Pick: Mohammed Al BuraykAl Hilal


Fans' Pick: Osama HawsawiAl Hilal

  • 88% passing accuracy (#2 by a defender)
  • 10 blocks (#3 by a defender)
  • 9 tackles won

After receiving more than half of the fans' votes (53%), Al Hilal's captain Osama Hawsawi takes his place in the heart of the defence.

Al Ain stalwart Ismail Ahmed joins Hawsawi in the centre of defence after picking up 27% of the votes ahead of Urawa Red Diamonds' Tomoaki Makino and Ryota Moriwaki (8% and 4%),

OPTA Pick: Tomoaki Makino, Shi Ke


Fans' Pick: Peyman ShirzadiEsteghlal Khouzestan

  • 12 successful crosses from open play (#1 by a defender)
  • 13 chances created, two assists
  • 64% tackle success rate

In what turned out to be a three-way battle for the left-back position, Esteghlal Khouzestan defender Peyman Shirzadi (40%) finished ahead of Al Hilal's Yasser Al Shahrani (33%) and Muangthong United's Theerathon Bunmathan (25%).

OPTA Pick: Yasser Al Shahrani Al Hilal


MIDFIELDERS

Fans' Pick: Salem Al DawsariAl Hilal

  • 5 assists, 1 goal scored
  • 19 chances created
  • 25 shots on goal

An attack-minded midfield sees further Al Hilal representation, with stellar performances in the knockout rounds resulting in Salem Al Dawsari collecting a whopping 66% of the votes.

The Saudi international takes the left side of our three-man midfield with teammate Carlos Eduardo (15%) in the centre and Al Ain's Omar Abdulrahman (8%) on the right.

OPTA Picks: Ricardo Goulart (Guangzhou Evergrande), Carlos Eduardo (Al Hilal), Paulinho (Guangzhou Evergrande)

FORWARDS

Fans' Pick: Omar Khribin – Al Hilal

  • 10 goals scored (#1 by a forward)
  • 22 shots on target (#1 by a forward)
  • Dribble success rate 59% (#2 by a forward)

A three-way battle ensued between a trio of big names from huge clubs in the West, with Al Hilal's Omar Khribin, Persepolis' Mehdi Taremi and Esteghlal's Kaveh Rezaei all popular candidates among the voters.

Ultimately, it was Khribin (37%) who came out on top ahead of Taremi (34%) and Rezaei (24%) but together they make up a strong-looking attack in this all-star 2017 team.

OPTA Picks: Omar Khribin (Al Hilal), Rafael Silva (Urawa Red Diamonds), Hulk (Shanghai SIPG)

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