Qatari defender Abdelkarim Hassan was named on Thursday Asian Player of the Year for 2018, the continent’s annual individual sports award.
Qatari defender Abdelkarim Hassan has been named Asian Player of the Year for 2018, the continent’s annual individual award and a rare feat for a defender. The 25-year-old left back received the award at a ceremony in Muscat, the capital of Oman, after playing a key role in his club Al Saad reaching the semi-finals of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League this season.
"I am very happy to receive this award. It is an honour not just for me but my club and country," he said at the ceremony.
Hassan admitted he didn’t expect to win the award, as he was up to the Japanese duo Kento Misao and Yuma Suzuki, who were part of the Kashima Antlers team which won the AFC Champions League.
"Being nominated with two Japanese players was an honour, and I didn’t expect to win,” the defender added.
He is the second Qatari to claim the award, after striker Khalfan Ibrahim did so in 2011.
"I feel proud to have emulated Khalfan Ibrahim. Obviously he is one of Qatar’s greatest football players."
Congratulations to Abdulkarim Hassan, our Aspire graduate, Al Sadd and Qatar national team player on winning the "AFC Player of the Year Award - 2018". Qatar's second-seeded Abdelkarim gets the title after Khalfan Ibrahim. Aspire is the home of champions! pic.twitter.com/GZaoqoo6hT— Aspire Zone (@aspirezone) 29 November 2018
Wang Shuang claims women’s award
Chinese midfielder Wang Shuang claimed the women’s award on Thursday’s ceremony. "I would like to thank the AFC for this remarkable award," she said. "It really means a lot to win this. I want to thank my country, the Chinese Football Association and my national teammates for putting their faith in me and always encouraging me to dream big."