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AFC Asian Cup

Akram Afif, Aymen Hussein, Son Heung-min headline AFC Asian Cup 2023 Team of the Tournament

Published at :February 11, 2024 at 4:41 PM
Modified at :February 11, 2024 at 4:41 PM
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(Courtesy : AFC Media)

Waseem


The AFC Asian Cup was a huge success with plenty of individuals rising to the occasion for their nations.

Qatar emerged as the champions of the 2023 AFC Asian Cup, successfully defending their title and becoming the first national team to do so in 20 years. It was an exhilarating end to the prestigious competition where the hosts got the better of Jordan by a 3-1 scoreline at the Lusail Stadium, thanks to a hat-trick from the eventual Golden Boot winner Akram Afif.

In addition to Akram Afif, plenty of other individuals from Qatar, Jordan and other participating nations caught the eye due to their mindblowing performances at the 2023 AFC Asian Cup. These players did not waver in pressure situations and delivered memorable performances for the fans to remember. 

As the curtain drops on a highly entertaining 2023 AFC Asian Cup, here is a look at the edition’s Team of the Tournament:

Formation – 3-5-2

GK – Meshaal Barsham (Qatar)

Meshaal Barsham was awarded the Best Goalkeeper title for his influential performances under the sticks for Qatar. His penalty saves in the quarter-final against Uzbekistan in particular made him a hero in the eyes of the Qatari supporters.

RCB – Yazan Alarab (Jordan)

Jordan’s defenders were superb throughout the tournament but Yazan Alarab caught the eye of the fans and the neutrals alike. The defender made 32 interceptions (second-most), five tackles and six interceptions to help Jordan chart a path to the final.

CB – Lucas Mendes (Qatar)

Lucas Mendes made the telling difference and led Qatar’s defence by example. He made 43 clearances, the most by any individual player at the 2023 AFC Asian Cup. His calming presence in the backline gave Qatar’s forwards the confidence to attack with enthusiasm. 

LCB – Mohammed Waad (Qatar)

Mohammed Waad was a consistent performer for Qatar across the duration of the 2023 AFC Asian Cup. The defender played as a left-back on most occasions and did extremely well.

RW – Mousa Al-Taamari (Jordan)

Mousa Al-Taamari was the pick of players in a Jordan squad full of individuals who punched way above their weight. The attacker was consistently good, scored three goals and provided an assist. Unluckily, he was unable to send Jordan across the finishing line in the final against Qatar. 

CAM – Son Heung-min (South Korea)

Son Heung-min cut an isolated figure in a South Korean line-up that did not perform at the level expected of it. The skipper single-handedly got the national team into the semi-final by converting a sublime free-kick against Australia in extra-time during the quarters. He finished the tournament with three goals.

CM – Lee Kang-In (South Korea)

Lee Kang-in was the figure South Korea relied upon for chance creation. The Paris Saint-Germain midfielder created seven big chances, most for an individual at the 2023 AFC Asian Cup. He also scored three goals and delivered an assist. 

Akram Afif, Aymen Hussein, Son Heung-min headline AFC Asian Cup 2023 Team of the Tournament
AFC Asian Cup Team of the Tournament.

CAM – Sardar Azmoun (Iran)

While figures like Mehdi Taremi and Alireza Jahanbakhsh hogged the limelight, it was Sardar Azmoun who was the most impressive for Iran. He worked hard for the team and recorded two goals and three assists from five appearances. 

LW – Akram Afif (Qatar)

Akram Afif was sensational throughout the 2023 AFC Asian Cup and emerged as the Most Valuable Player of the tournament. He turned up with goals when the hosts needed them the most. The attacker won the Golden Boot with eight goals and helped the host nation win the final by scoring an iconic hat-trick of penalties under immense pressure.

ST – Almoez Ali (Qatar)

Despite having huge expectations on his shoulders, Almoez Ali did fairly well for Qatar. The Golden Boot winner from the 2019 edition of the AFC Asian Cup finished the 2023 edition with two goals and two assists for the Maroons.

ST – Aymen Hussein (Iraq)

Aymen Hussein was one of the best performers in the group stages of the tournament and mesmerised the crowd with his brilliant finishing. He scored six goals in four appearances for Iraq.

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