Born to entertain: The unique story behind the rise of Kyrgyz Republic's Alykulov
Almaty: An international debutant at 18, his country’s Player of the Year six months later and a high-profile arrival at one of the region’s big clubs in the new year – Gulzhigit Alykulov’s life has been moving as quickly as his feet.
But while his surge to prominence in international football has been rapid, the truth is the Kyrgyz Republic youngster has never been far away from the spotlight.
Talking exclusively with the-AFC.com, one of the rising stars of Central Asian football discusses his meteoric rise, earning the approval of Andrey Arshavin and the pivotal role played by his well-known family.
Kuala Lumpur: Veteran striker Lee Dong-gook recently begun his 23rd season in the Korea Republic top flight and it was almost inevitable that he would score in the competition's opener. The 41-year-old evergreen looks back on an eventful career with both club and country as he continues to excel at the highest level in Asia and defy Father Time.
Normal rules don’t seem to apply to Lee. At an age when most footballers are already enjoying the fruits of their well-earned retirement, the forward is still showing few signs of slowing down.
Lee burst onto the scene as a 19-year-old in 1998 for Pohang Steelers, a young talent who seemed to have the world at his feet having helped the side win the 1997-1998 Asian Club Championship and been called up to the senior national team the very same year.
Fast forward to the present day and the veteran striker is still turning out, and scoring, for Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors.
Kuala Lumpur: The 2016 AFC Champions League witnessed some fine attacking displays across the Continent, with a record-equaling tally and two of the competition's greatest goalscorers both going deep into the competition among the highlights.
We're just one position away from finding out who you the fans want as your Best 2016 AFC Champions League XI. The best goalkeeper has been decided, as has your defence and the playmakers in front of them, so now it's time to find the men to lead the line up front.
So, without further ado, here are the eight players in contention for the three places in attack. Review the nominees and then choose your favourites for this all-star XI in the poll below.