Asian Icons

Gucci, Iwabuchi and Al Mawas: Vote for your AFC International Player of the Week


Kuala Lumpur: Reza Ghoochannejhad turned back the clock, Mana Iwabuchi displayed her considerable talent to a new audience and Mahmoud Al Mawas struck a blow for Syrian footballers in Europe.

In the middle of the European winter, it rained goals; This week’s 10 nominees piled on a total of 13 between them, with regular final third predators Mehdi Taremi and Sam Kerr joined on the scoresheet by the likes of Maya Yoshida and Milad Mohammadi.

But who deserves the crown of the best player outside the Asian continent for matches from January 21 to 27?

Study the shortlist, and don’t forget to cast your vote!

See also :

Mahmoud Al Mawas (FC Botoşani, Syria)

90 minutes, 45 passes completed, 90% pass accuracy (4-0 v Dinamo Bucureşti)
77 minutes, 1 goal, 4 offensive duels won (1-2 v FC Academica Clinceni)

An outstanding week from the Syrian international, who played an important role in a thumping 4-0 win over 18-time Romanian champions Dinamo, before scoring a goal of his own three days later.


Reza Ghoocheannejhad (PEC Zwolle, IR Iran)

48 minutes, 3 goals, 1 shot assist, 100% pass accuracy (3-1 v Willem II)
24 minutes, 1 goal (2-2 v Heracles)

A good 15 years after his Eredivisie debut, the man known as Gucci is the hottest striker in Holland, following up a remarkable 12-minute hat-trick against Willem II with an equaliser just three minutes after coming off the bench four days later.


Mana Iwabuchi (Aston Villa, Japan)

90 minutes, 1 goal, 1 assist, 5 successful dribbles (2-2 v Reading)
90 minutes (0-4 v Chelsea)

Welcome to England, or perhaps welcome England to the wonderful world of Mana Iwabuchi. The FIFA Women’s World Cup winner was at her brilliant best on her starting debut in the FA Women’s Super League, scoring and setting up Aston Villa’s late equaliser as they claimed a crucial point in the snow.


Sam Kerr (Chelsea, Australia)

90 minutes, 1 goal, 1 assist (4-0 v Aston Villa)

With a thumping volley within three minutes and a superb assist for Beth England half an hour later, Australia’s superstar continued her excellent form for Chelsea, whose win against Iwabuchi’s Villa took their unbeaten run to a record 32 games.


Alireza Beiranvand (Royal Antwerp, IR Iran)

90 minutes, 3 saves, 90% pass accuracy (1-2 v KV Oostende)
90 minutes, 5 saves (2-0 v KAS Eupen)

From goal scorers to arguably Asia’s most in-form shot-stopper, Alireza Beiranvand once again earned Player of the Match honours after a terrific performance which included four saves within six second-half minutes.


Milad Mohammadi (KAA Gent, IR Iran)

90 minutes, 1 goal, 1 shot assist, 15 duels won (3-0 v OH Leuven)
45 minutes – statistics not available (1-1 v Sint-Truiden)

Mohammadi began the league clash against Leuven with a blistering strike into the back of net within six minutes, and he never let up in a wonderful performance for KAA Gent.


Hwang Ui-jo (Bordeaux, Korea Republic)

83 minutes, 2 goals, 4 progressive runs (2-1 v Angers SCO)

A second successive nomination for the other in-form Korean forward in Europe. Hwang scored both his goals within the opening 11 minutes, taking his tally to five goals in his last seven games.


Mehdi Taremi (FC Porto, IR Iran)

78 minutes, 1 goal, 1 shot assist (1-0 v Farense)

Another game, another goal and another AFC International Player of the Week nomination for Mehdi Taremi who netted the winner against Farense in the Portuguese Primeira Liga. He now has 11 for the season, and seven in his last six matches.


Maya Yoshida (Sampdoria, Japan)

94 minutes, 1 goal, 97% pass accuracy, 8 interceptions (2-0 v Parma)

It was such a brilliant week for Asian goal scorers in Europe that even a central defender in Maya Yoshida got in on the act. The veteran opened the scoring against Parma as part of a complete performance in an important away win.


Wataru Endo (VfB Stuttgart, Japan)

90 minutes, 49 passes completed, 94% pass accuracy, 19 duels won (1-2 v Freiburg)

He ended up on the losing side, but Wataru Endo turned in a terrific Bundesliga performance for Stuttgart, the latest in a string of highly impressive defensive midfield displays in the German top flight.


*The poll has ended. Thank you for voting.

Recommended Stories :