Star striker places above Thai, South Korean players in Asian awards

By Xuan Binh   January 11, 2022 | 11:18 pm PT
Star striker places above Thai, South Korean players in Asian awards
Nguyen Tien Linh scores against Cambodia in an AFF Cup group stage game on December 19, 2021. Photo by Leo Shengwei
Nguyen Tien Linh outpaced some football stars in the Best Footballer in Asia Awards organized by Chinese newspaper Titan Sports.

Linh received two points and placed 27th, above seven players who got one point: Chanathip Songkrasin and Theerathon Bunmathan (Thailand), Hwang In-beom (South Korea), Sunil Chhetri (India), Dejan Damjanovic (Montenegro), Jaloliddin Masharipov (Uzbekistan) and Wu Lei (China).

South Korean striker-winger Son Heung-min won the award for the fifth consecutive time. He received 242 points, followed by Iranian strikers Sardar Azmoun (111 points) and Mehdi Taremi (90 points).

The winner was voted for by 37 representatives from Asian football federations. The other 13 voters were football experts. Its voting system is similar to that of the reputable Ballon D’or of French magazine France Football.

In 2021, Linh scored seven goals for the national team, of which four were openers. He scored in the last three World Cup qualifiers of the second round and helped Vietnam advance to the final round for the first time in history.

In the final round, he netted two more goals. However, his form dropped in the AFF Cup as he only scored two goals in six games.

Best Footballer in Asia is an annual association football award presented by Titan Sports, the most circulated sports newspaper in China – to honor the player who had the best performance in Asian football or the Asian player competing outside of Asia in a calendar year.

Linh is the second Vietnamese player to get nominated for the award, after midfielder Nguyen Quang Hai in 2018 and 2019. In 2018, Hai got 13 points and placed 15th. A year later, he got eight points and finished 17th.

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