Turki Al Ammar claims MVP
Bogor: Victorious Turki Al Ammar revealed his satisfaction at leading his side to the AFC U-19 Championship Indonesia 2018 title, as Saudi Arabia's budding star was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player.
The attacking midfielder lived up to head coach Khalid Abdullah Atawi's pre-tournament challenge to win the coveted accolade, after he helped his side win the competition for the first time since 1992.
Al Ammar's award completes a rare and impressive double for the Al Shabab youngster, who was also voted the Saudi Pro League Young Player of the Season earlier in 2018.
Earlier in the tournament, Al Ammar revealed Atawi had set him the challenge of becoming the competition's best player and the 19-year-old said he was delighted to have achieved the goal.
"The coach giving me that challenge gave me the confidence to be in this position," he said.
"The work of all of my teammates also helped me to be in this position, and this award could have been given to everybody in our team.
"I give this victory to all Saudi people and I congratulate the whole Saudi population."
In three tremendous weeks of football, the 19-year-old contributed four goals to his team's cause - all of them to open the scoring, and three in successive knockout stage matches - among a string of sensational displays just behind the Saudi frontline.
Now, with major honours at both club and international level already under his belt, Al Ammar says his next target is breaking into Saudi Arabia's senior side.
"My goal is to be in the senior national team in the near future," he said. "Every player in this team has many goals and hopefully, we can all achieve our goals."
Head coach Atawi paid tribute to Al Ammar's performances, saying it was a vindication of the belief he had shown in his ability.
"Before the tournament started, I told Turki that he was good enough to be the best player in the championship," he said.
"I gave him a chance. I gave him the opportunity in the position we played him in and Turki certainly played very well."
In addition to Al Ammar's individual honour, and Saudi Arabia's success in lifting the trophy, the Young Green Falcons were also awarded the AFC U-19 Championship Indonesia 2018 Fair Play Award.