Qatar star Abdelkarim Hassan wins Asian footballer of the year award

Qatar star Abdelkarim Hassan wins Asian footballer of the year award
2 min read
29 November, 2018
Qatar Defender Abdelkarim Hassan has won the AFC footballer of the year award.
Hassan picked up the award in Qatar [Getty]
Qatar star Abdelkarim Hassan has won the Asian Football Confederation's (AFC) footballer of the year award, a rare feat for a defender.

The Al-Sadd left-back, picked up the award on Wednesday night in Oman, capping off a brilliant year for the young Qatari defender.

"I am very happy to receive this award. It is an honour not just for me but my club and country," he said at the ceremony.

Hassan's Doha-based club, Al-Sadd, managed to reach the semi-finals of Asia's Champions League, with his performance in both legs of the game praised by football pundits.

He also played for Belgium first division team Eupen, a rare feat for a player from the Gulf region.

"I hope after winning to get a chance to play in Europe, I have the mentality to play in European leagues," he said.

Hassan is also one of Qatar's brightest stars, ahead of the country's hosting of the World Cup in 2022, winning 69 caps since he first played his first cap in 2010.

He is the second Qatari footballer to pick up the AFC award, with striker Khalfan Ibrahim winning in 2011.

"I feel proud to have emulated Khalfan Ibrahim. Obviously he is one of Qatar’s greatest football players."

Qatar won the Gulf Cup in 2014, and has looked to build up its team ahead of the 2022 World Cup.