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Vietnam's star midfielder Nguyen Quang Hai a Best Asian Footballer contender

By Hoang Nguyen   December 19, 2018 | 12:17 am PT
Vietnam's star midfielder Nguyen Quang Hai a Best Asian Footballer contender
Nguyen Quang Hai plays at AFF Cup semi-finals against Philippines. Photo by VnExpress/Duc Dong
Vietnam’s star midfielder Nguyen Quang Hai is a Best Asian Footballer of the Year nominee for 2018.

The Best Footballer in Asia is an annual award hosted by Fox Sports and China's Titan Sports. Nguyen Quang Hai, who had shone on every occasion possible for Vietnam, is among 24 contenders for the award.

Fox Sports has praised him "the brightest star in Southeast Asian football at the moment," adding he played a vital role in the team’s performance in all big tournaments this year.

Nguyen Quang Hai played a major part in Vietnam reaching the final of the AFC U-23 Championship in January and continued his fine performances throughout 2018, it noted.

His team entered the semifinals of men's football at Asian Games for the first time last August, before winning the AFF Suzuki Cup for only the second time in their history last Saturday.

He won the Most Valuable Player prize at AFF, scoring three goals and contributing two assists that manifested into goals for the team in eight matches.

On the list with Hai are some of the most famous Asian players, including South Korean Son Heung-min, who plays for English club Tottenham Hotspurs, Takashi Inui, who helped Japan advance to the last 16 of World Cup 2018 and Philippines goalkeeper Neil Etheridge, the number one goalie of Cardiff City.

Unlike the Asian Football Confederation’s Asian Footballer of the year which is judged by its technical department and match commissioners, the Best Footballer in Asia, founded by Titan Sports, the only media representative of China voting for Ballon d’Or, applies a similar organization structure and voting rules as France Football’s Ballon d’Or.

This year will be the sixth edition of the award. Son Heung-min was the winner in 2017.

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