Xavi Hernández, the former Spain and Barcelona legend and Gianni Infantino, the present president of FIFA are going to be in town for bringing the Asian football into the limelight in 2019 AFC Annual Awards that was held on Monday, 2nd December.
Saki Kumagai, the legendary woman of Japanese football and Akram Hassan, the Qatari star of men’s football deservedly took up the marquee awards of the player of the year as Hong Kong Football Association bagged the award in the category of AFC developing member association at Convention and Exhibition Center in Hong Kong, Wan Chai.
Kumagai said that he had been nominated a few times before but this is the first time that he won the award. She is the captain of the women’s national team of Japan and also the 4-time winner of the UEFA Women’s Champions League with Olympique Lyonnais, the French club.
The 29-year-old defender has been a part of the winning team of the 2011 FIFA World Cup for women and also the runners-up of 2015. She is one of the elite football women players and she is the guiding force for the aspiring women Asian football players. Asia’s level of football is growing since the time she made her debut. In the Asian tournaments, an Asian team always used to make it to the last 4. Thus, it is clear how far they have come.
Al Sadd forward Afif took the award of the brightest star of the year but had not been able to attend the event. Xavi, the club coach took the award on his behalf. He praised the 23-year old players who are on loan from Villareal, who guided the club and helped them achieve the first Asian Cup with a record of 10 assists.