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AFC Awards

Exceptional 2019 whets Afif's appetite for more success


Wednesday, December 11, 2019
Akram Afif - AFC Player of the Year 2019 - AFP

Doha: As Akram Afif caps a phenomenal 12 months by appearing in the FIFA Club World Qatar, the 2019 AFC Player of the Year is already targeting more success.


Al Sadd's left winger started the year by playing an integral part in Qatar's AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 triumph, as his one goal and 10 assists helped power Felix Sanchez's squad to Continental glory with Afif's partnership with Almoez Ali a major highlight.

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Afif, 23 carried that form into the Qatar Stars League, scoring 26 goals and making 15 assists, as Al Sadd won the title for a record-extending 14th time with the player named Best Player of the Season. The Super Cup was also added to the Al Sadd trophy cabinet.

On the Continental front, the Doha-based sided reached the 2019 AFC Champions League semi-finals and Afif's consistency made him a deserving winner of the 2019 AFC Player of the Year.

“I’m happy with what I have achieved in 2019, whether with Qatar, Al Sadd or individually,” Afif told the-AFC.com in an exclusive interview after receiving the 2019 AFC Player of the Year award from AFC President Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa in Doha on Tuesday.

The supremely talented player said the AFC Player of the Year award was won with the support of his teammates, dedicating it to his parents and the national team and Al Sadd coaches for helping him improve.

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“This award goes to my parents and I want to thank everyone who supported me,” said Afif. “I won the award with the help of the officials, managers and teammates at Al-Sadd and the national team, along with the officials at Aspire Academy.

“The coaches who trained me at Al Sadd helped me win this award - whether it was (current head coach) Xavi or Jesualdo Ferreira (former head coach),” he said. “Also, the head coach of the national team Felix Sanchez who is like a father to me as we have been working together for 15 years.”

#AlSadd squad for the FIFA Club World Cup Qatar 2019#ClubWC #WeAreAlSadd

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— AlSadd S.C | ???? ???? (@AlsaddSC) December 9, 2019

Afif became the third Qatari player to win the AFC Player of the Year award after Khalfan Ibrahim in 2006 while Al Sadd teammate Abdelkarim Hassan won the award last year.

“It’s a great honour for Qatari players to win the Best Player of the Year award for the second consecutive year and I hope that this success will continue in the future,” said Afif.

“As Qatari players, we always give our best on the pitch and this is reflected with the great success that we have had at the Continental stage.

"Personally, I want to continue improving and winning honours."

Photos: AFP

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