Qatar Football AssociationNews
26.11.2013 23:35 in :

Kuala Lumpur: Zheng Zhi has become the first Chinese player to be named AFC Player of the Year since Fan Zhiyi claimed Asian football’s highest individual accolade in 2001.

Guangzhou Evergrande skipper Zheng, who collected the prestigious award from AFC President Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, led by example throughout the Chinese side’s victorious AFC Champions League campaign, with the 33-year-old’s assured performances throughout the tournament as well as his telling contribution in China regaining their consistency following the departure of Jose Antonio Camacho and moving to within one point of qualification for the 2015 AFC Asian Cup.

The decision to award the former Celtic and Charlton Athletic midfielder the 2013 AFC Player of the Year award ahead of Iran star Javad Nekonam and Korea Republic’s Ha Dae-sung marks something of a reversal of fortune for Zhang, after he had to settle for third last year behind Iranian legend Ali Karimi and recipient Lee Keun-ho.