AFC Awards

AFC Asian International Player of the Year 2018: Makoto Hasebe

Muscat: Former Japan national team captain Makoto Hasebe was named the 2018 AFC Asian International Player of the Year at the 2018 AFC Annual Awards in Muscat on Wednesday after a sterling season for country and his German Bundesliga club Eintracht Frankfurt.

Hasebe skippered Japan in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia where the Blue Samurai were the only Asian team to advance to the knockout stage before suffering a heartbreaking 3-2 defeat to Belgium in the Round of 16.

It was his third FIFA World Cup as Japan captain, having also skippered the side who emerged champions in the 2011 AFC Asian Cup.

Masebe, 34, announced his retirement from international football after the FIFA World Cup, having made 114 appearances for Japan.

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The defensive midfielder first burst into the limelight with Urawa Red Diamonds, making his debut in 2002 before German club Vfl Wolfsburg signed him in 2007.

Five successful seasons later, Hasebe joined FC Nurnberg in 2013 but moved to Frankfurt just a year later.

Frankfurt sent Hasebe off to the FIFA World Cup in style after defeating Bayern Munich to lift the German Cup in May.

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