Iranian duo nominated for best footballer in Asia

December 18, 2018 - 9:34

TEHRAN – Alireza Beiranvand and Alireza Jahanbakhsh from Iran have been nominated for the Best Footballer of Asia Award by Titan Sports and Fox Sports Asia.

Beiranvand was a standout in the 2018 World Cup in Russia. The goalkeeper starred as Team Melli came close to getting out of a tough group containing Spain, Portugal and Morocco.

Beiranvand also played a major part in Persepolis reaching the final of the Champions League for the first time since the tournament started in 2003.

His compatriot Jahanbakhsh, currently plays in Brighton & Hove Albion, did not quite have the World Cup that was expected, but – in the first place –  it was his brilliant performances for AZ Alkmaar in the Eredivisie that lifted those expectations to stratospheric levels as he ended the 2017-18 season as the league’s top scorer – an amazing achievement especially considering he plays primarily as a winger.

First launched in 2013, the award is one of the most important events of the year for Asian footballers.

For the first time, the nomination is open to all jurors. After a two-week nomination stage and discussion within the prize organizing committee,  a 24-man nominee list will be drawn up to contest for the supreme individual footballing award for Asian football excellence.

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

The juror panel is constituted by media representatives of nearly 40 AFC football associations and some Asian football experts of European football media outlets, bringing the total amount of jurors to 42 (2017 edition). The eligibility of the nominees for Best Footballer in Asia, is wider than AFC Player of the Year.

The deadline for the vote is December 20.

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