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Vietnamese midfielder among AFC Cup's greatest

By Hoang Nguyen   March 14, 2021 | 11:49 pm PT
Vietnamese midfielder among AFC Cup's greatest
Nguyen Quang Hai (L) tackles the ball in AFC Cup inter-zone play-off semi-final against Altyn Asyr on August 20, 2019. Photo courtesy of Asian Football Confederation.
Nguyen Quang Hai has been chosen by Asian Football Confederation (AFC) as one of the 12 best midfielders in AFC Cup history.

"He may be young enough to play in the competition for another decade, but Nguyen Quang Hai has already left a significant mark on AFC Cup, particularly in his exceptional 2019 campaign," AFC wrote.

Throughout Hanoi FC’s amazing run at 2019 AFC Cup, the 22-year-old played an important role by producing consistent goals and assists, including two stunners in the inter-zone play-off semi-final against Turkmen side Altyn Asyr. Hanoi later lost to North Korean club 4.25 SC in the play-off final. In 2021, Hai will return to AFC Cup with Hanoi.

Other midfielders on the list are Mahmood Abdulrahman (Bahrain), Safiq Rahim (Malaysia), Rogerinho (Brazil), Firas Al Khatib (Syria), Hariss Harun (Singapore), Jehad Al Hussein (Syria), Hasan Abdel-Fattah (Jordan), Zaher Al Midani (Syria), Stephan Schrock (Philippines), Odai Al Saify (Jordan) and Therdsak Chaiman (Thailand).

The midfielders were chosen by AFC based on versatility, flair and outstanding individual quality.

From 12 midfielders, AFC will select two that gain the most votes for the ultimate AFC Cup dream team.

Votes end March 18.

In November last year, Hai’s wonderful free-kick in the game with Altyn Asyr was named among the four best AFC Cup goals ever. The same free-kick was also voted the best free-kick in AFC Cup history by fans in June.

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