Hong Kong: Al Sadd head coach Xavi has revealed his personal pride at seeing Qatar’s Akram Afif crowned 2019 AFC Player of the Year on Monday.
With Afif unable to attend the ceremony due to his commitments with the Qatari national team’s Gulf Cup campaign, Xavi accepted the award on his behalf at the ceremony held at Hong Kong Exhibition and Convention Centre.
Afif received the prestigious honour after an exceptional year for both club and country, producing 10 assists to help power Qatar to the AFC Asian Cup title in the United Arab Emirates in January, before playing a key role as Al Sadd won the Qatar Stars League and reached the AFC Champions League semi-finals.
Afif and Kumagai claim top honours in dazzling AFC Annual Awards
Hong Kong: Qatar’s rising star Akram Hassan Afif and Saki Kumagai of Japan won the AFC Player of the Year Award for men and women respectively at the 2019 AFC Annual Awards in Hong Kong on Monday.
Afif burst onto the scene at the AFC Asian Cup where he was an instrumental figure in helping Qatar secure their first-ever title. His brilliance was not limited to the Continental stage after guiding Al Sadd to the AFC Champions League semi-finals by scoring five goals.
AFC Youth Player of the Year (Women) 2019: Jun Endo
Hong Kong: Japan's Jun Endo was named the AFC Youth Player of the Year (Women) at the 2019 Annual Awards after a series of brilliant performances over the past year.
Endo first donned the Japan national team jersey in 2014 when she competed in the AFC U-14 Girls' Regional Championship, before playing in the AFC U-16 Women's Championship a year later, scoring twice against Thailand in the semi-finals with Japan eventually losing 1-0 to DPR Korea in the final.
On top of being part of Continental action at such a young age, the winger also experienced the 2016 FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup in Jordan and she didn't disappoint, scoring three goals as Japan finished runners-up to DPR Korea, losing on penalties in the decider.