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Vote for your AFC International Player of the Week


Kuala Lumpur: In a season where many of Asia’s leading lights have shone bright, no seven-day period has featured as many outstanding performances as the one just completed.

In a week of hat-tricks and history, the continent’s international stars were in unstoppable form. This week’s 10 contenders produced a combined total of 15 goals, four assists and countless other highlights, with several other worthy candidates unlucky not to be nominated.

So just who was Asia’s best player outside the continent? Here are our perfect 10 from December 3 to 9.

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Sardar Azmoun (Zenit, IR Iran)
82 minutes, 3 goals, 1 assist, 1 penalty won (5-1 v Ural)
90 minutes, 3 key passes (1-2 v Borussia Dortmund)

This week’s list of outstanding Asian performances begins with Sardar Azmoun, who turned in an exceptional Russian Premier League display against Ural on Saturday. The Team Melli star was directly involved in all five of Zenit’s goals, scoring three himself to earn Player of the Match honours.


Son Heung-min (Tottenham Hotspur, Korea Republic)
84 minutes, 1 goal, 83% aerial duels won (3-3 v LASK Linz)
90 minutes, 1 goal, 1 assist (2-0 v Arsenal)

A goal In Europe was followed by an absolutely superb North London derby strike as Korea Republic’s brightest modern talent continued a season to savour. Son also provided the pass for strike partner Harry Kane’s goal, taking his tally to 16 goals and 7 assists this campaign.


Sam Kerr (Chelsea, Australia)
71 minutes, 3 goals, 78% pass accuracy (3-2 v West Ham)

A triumphant yet somewhat bittersweet afternoon for the Australian star, who showcased her innate goal-scoring ability with a superb hat-trick but left the pitch early after sustaining an injury while scoring her third goal. She has now scored six times in seven FA Women’s Super League games in 2020-21.


Saki Kumagai (Olympique Lyonnais, Japan)
90 minutes, 1 goal, 100 passes completed, 14 recoveries (3-1 v Le Havre)

A near faultless display from Asia’s most decorated footballer, who completed 100 of 107 passes, scored a terrific looping header and repeatedly won the ball as Lyon eased to another victory in Division 1 Féminine.


Ritsu Doan (Arminia Bielefeld, Japan)
90 minutes, 1 goal, 1 assist, 17 duels won (2-1 v Mainz 05)

With an assist, a fantastic goal and a place in various Bundesliga Teams of the Week, Ritsu Doan played a key role as Arminina Bielefeld ended a six-game losing streak against Mainz.


Allahyar Sayyadmanesh (Zorya Luhansk, IR Iran)
14 minutes, 1 goal (1-0 v Leicester City)
61 minutes, 8 duels won (3-1 v Dnipro-1)

On loan, on the pitch and onto the back page, Iranian youngster Allahyar Sayyadmanesh made a sensational cameo appearance for Ukraine’s Zorya Luhansk, scoring a UEFA Europa League winner against Premier League highfliers Leicester City.


Mehdi Taremi (FC Porto, IR Iran)
67 minutes, 1 goal, 87% pass accuracy (4-3 v Tondela)

Mehdi Taremi continued his recent goal-scoring form, slamming home a volley to help FC Porto to three points in a seven-goal thriller against Tondela. He has now found the net three times in his last five appearances.


Shahab Zahedi (Olimpik Donetsk, IR Iran)
73 minutes, 2 goals, 4 shots at goal (3-1 v Rukh Lviv)

In what was an exceptional week for Iranian strikers, Shahab Zahedi added two goals, including a superb volley. Despite playing for mid-table Olimpik, the former Persepolis player's eight goals make him the top scorer in the Ukrainian Premier League.


Bala Devi (Rangers, India)
25 minutes, 1 goal, 1 penalty won (9-0 v Motherwell)

A history-making goal from Bala Devi earns the Indian star a nomination, after the 30-year-old became the first woman from her country to find the back of the net in a top-level European league for Scotland’s Rangers.


Osama Rashid (Santa Clara, Iraq)
90 minutes, 1 goal, 7 duels won, 7 interceptions (3-1 v Nacional)

Another all-action centre midfield display from the Iraq international, who netted a penalty, made seven interceptions and was one of game’s top-rated players as Santa Clara rose to seventh on the Portuguese Primeira Liga table.

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