Asian Classics: Al Owairan recalls taking on the world
Riyadh: Not since DPR Korea's iconic victory over Italy in 1966 had an Asian side beaten a European one at a FIFA World Cup, but when Saeed Al Owairan's Saudi Arabia took on Belgium on June 29, 1994 something extraordinary happened.
While the West Asian nation had already made a name for themselves at the continental level, with two AFC Asian Cup titles in 1984 and 1988, they were largely considered minnows making their debut on the international stage, with a first FIFA World Cup appearance.
Kuala Lumpur: The 2017 AFC Champions League boasted an array of fine attacking talents with some world class performers gracing Asia's most prestigious club competition and a prolific Syrian rising to prominence.
After deciding the top goalkeeper, the best defence in front of him and the playmakers in midfield, we have eight players of our 2017 AFC Champions League Best XI confirmed, so now it's time to complete the jigsaw by voting for 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.
Kuala Lumpur: When Andrey Sidorov struck in the final minute of extra-time to help Uzbekistan seal the AFC U23 Championship China 2018 title, it capped a truly remarkable campaign by the Central Asian nation.
The victory was, in truth, just rewards for a side that – after an initial wobble – rarely looked back. A richly deserved trophy for a team which played attacking, expansive football, for players who all skipped to the same beat. Players who were united by their desire to succeed.
Oumari: Fernando Torres motivated me to raise the bar
Tokyo: Lebanese defender Joan Oumari never imagined that his move to Japan in 2018 would be the opportunity of a lifetime. He has added new experiences to the ones he had in Germany, United Arab Emirates and Turkey, and has made some fantastic friends.
Since arriving in the East Asia, Oumari has experienced a football style that was new to him and played alongside a host of stars who have made FIFA World Cup history – from Andres Iniesta, Fernando Torres and David Villa, who became world champions with Spain at South Africa 2010, to Lukas Podolski, who won the title with Germany at Brazil 2014.
The 31-year-old defender sat down with FIFA.com to talk about what he has learned from playing in Japan, what it is like to share the dressing room with some big names, and Lebanon's chances in the Asian Qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023.
Bothroyd expecting big things from Thai star Chanathip
Sapporo: Jay Bothroyd has hailed the impact Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo teammate Chanathip Songkrasin has had in Japan, and the Englishman is urging the Thai international to keep aiming higher as the 2020 J.League gets set to resume in early July.
Bothroyd got a first-hand look at a young Chanathip during a stint in Thailand in 2014 and the former England international believes that despite his tender years, he was the standout homegrown player in the Southeast Asian league.
In 2017, the pair became teammates in the far north of Japan and Bothroyd’s admiration for Chanathip has grown further as the talented attacking midfielder’s career has gone from strength to strength in one of the toughest leagues in Asia.
Exposure vital for India’s young talents to bloom, says Cahilll
New Delhi: Former Jamshedpur FC striker Tim Cahill believes India’s young talents can flourish with systematic exposure.
Cahill, who brought his sterling career to an end following his stint with Jamshedpur FC in the 2018-19 season of the Indian Super League (ISL), said his experience convinced him that the South Asian nation has what is needed to excel on the continental and world stages.