Kuala Lumpur: With the 2020 AFC Champions League on hiatus until September, the-AFC.com continues its series of articles to determine your best sides from the last four editions of the Continental competition.
Last week we presented the candidates for the 2018 edition's best goalkeeper, and now it's time to turn our attention to defenders.
So, here are the 14 players in contention for the four places in the backline. Review the nominees and then choose your favourite defenders for this all-star XI in the respective polls.
Skocic: I will do my best to take IR Iran to Qatar 2022
Tehran: National team head coach Dragan Skocic has not paused since returning to the Islamic Republic of Iran.
With Team Melli facing a huge challenge in the Asian Qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023, Skocic has been busy scouting players ahead of Iran resuming their Group C campaign in October.
Back-to-back defeats to Bahrain and Iraq mean Iran have to win their remaining four matches to advance to the third round of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Qualifiers and Skocic is determined to have the best players available.
Kuala Lumpur: It's more goals galore from the AFC Cup and this week the-AFC.com turns its focus to a handful of quick-witted touches that have bamboozled opposition defences and goalkeepers.
From a delightful tournament-winning strike in Qarshi to impudent efforts in Al-Ram, Arbil, Dhaka and Cibinong, our latest edition of the '5 of the Best' really does cover the length and breadth of the Continent. So enjoy the selection and don't forget to vote for your favourite in the poll below!
Male: The Maldives are perhaps known globally for stunning coastal waters and luxury escapes. In the football realm, however, the island nation, with a population of less than half a million, remains an enigmatic force on the international stage.
It therefore came as a surprise when the South Asians were suddenly thrust into the global spotlight in 2013, when ace striker Ali Ashfaq was named the 'World's 2nd Best Top Goal Scorer' of the year by the International Federation of Football History & Statistics (IFFHS).
With only goals in international and major continental club competitions taken into consideration, Ashfaq, with 23 such goals that year, trailed global leader Cristiano Ronaldo by just two, but was five goals clear of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and eight clear of Lionel Messi.
London: Son Heung-min made it a double-quadruple as he collected all four end-of-season awards for the second year in a row following Tottenham Hotspur's win over Leicester on Sunday.
The Korea Republic international star predictably collected the Hotspur Goal of the Season prize for his dazzling solo strike at home to Burnley in the Premier League back in December.
And he added to that by once again picking up the trophies for One Hotspur Player of the Season, One Hotspur Juniors' Player of the Season and Official Supporters’ Clubs’ Player of the Season, just like he did at the end of the last campaign.