Qatari teenager Ibrahim named Asian Player of the Year

Updated: 2006-11-30 10:40

ABU DHABI, Nov 29 - Qatari teenager Khalfan Ibrahim won the Asian Football Confederation player of the year award on Wednesday.

The 18-year-old scooped the prize at the Emirates Palace hotel after a breakthrough 2006.

Ibrahim, who plays for Qatari double champions Al Sadd, featured in all Qatar's Asian Cup qualifiers as they won five of their six matches to qualify for the July 2007 tournament.

He became the youngest player to win the award. Ibrahim was up against Kuwaiti Badr Al Mutawa and Mohamed Al Shlhoub, of Saudi Arabia on the three-man shortlist.

"It is a triumph for my team mates and my club," he said, after becoming the first Qatari to win the award.

Players who ply their trade for non-Asian club teams were not in the running as nominees were chosen based on performances over the past 12 months in AFC-sanctioned events.

Australia won the team of the year in their inaugural year as an AFC nation after abandoning Oceania.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter was also honoured at the opulent ceremony with the title Diamond of Asia for services to Asian soccer.

"Diamonds are forever and my friendship for you in Asia is forever," Blatter said.

Asian Player of the Year winners

Nov 29 - Following is a list of winners of the Asian Football Confederation player of the year since 1994.

(Tabulate by year player, nationality, team (country code))

2006 Khalfan Ibrahim, Qatar, Al Sadd

2005 Hamad Al-Montashari, Saudi Arabia, Al-Ittihad

2004 Ali Karimi, Iran, Al-Ahli

2003 Mehdi Mahdavikia, Iran, Hamburg SV

2002 Shinji Ono, Japan, Feyenoord

2001 Fan Zhiyi, China, Dundee

2000 Nawaf Al Temyat, Saudi Arabia, Al-Hilal

1999 Ali Daei, Iran, Hertha Berlin

1998 Hidetoshi Nakata, Japan, Perugia

1997 Hidetoshi Nakata, Japan, Bellmare Hiratsuka

1996 Khodadad Azizi, Iran, Bahman

1995 Masami Ihara, Japan, Yokohama Marinos

1994 Saeed Owairan, Saudi Arabia, Al-Shabab

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