Ibrahim: honoured to be nominated
Manila: The three players nominated for this year’s AFCPlayer of the Year award have all revealed their delight at being considered for Asia’s greatest individual accolade.
2006 AFC Player of the Year Qatar’s Khalfan Ibrahim, Al Hilal striker Nassir Al Shamrani and Al Ain ace Ismail Ahmed were all speaking on the eve of the confederations 60th Anniversary celebrations and Annual Awards night which will be held in the Philippine capital.
“It is an honour for me to be amongst the three nominees,” declared Ibrahim who impressed for Al Sadd during this season’s AFC Champions League as the Qatari club reached the last eight.
“Being nominated by the AFC is already a victory for me, and I am hoping that I can win this trophy, but I am also happy to be here with my colleagues who also deserve to win.
“At the end of the day, however, the award will go to the player who deserves it the most, and if I do not win it, I will be the first to congratulate the others,” the talented 26-year-old explained.
Ahmed, an ever-present at the heart of the Al Ain backline which reached the semi-final stage of Asia’s premier club competition, was quick to reiterate his fellow West Asian star’s sentiments, saying: “It is a true honour to be nominated and it will be an even greater honour if I can win the award.
“I am very happy to be in the last three that have been considered (for the award),” he concluded.
Meanwhile, livewire striker Al Shamrani, who was a key factor in Al Hilal’s journey to the AFC Champions League final where they eventually lost to Western Sydney Wanderers, also described his delight to be in the reckoning for the prestigious Player of the Year crown.
“I am very happy to be here with my colleagues,” he said.
“Only one of us will win the trophy, but it is good that all three of us are from West Asia.”
The winner will be announced during the AFC’s gala 60th Anniversary and Annual Awards gala on Sunday.