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Asian player of the year `proud` despite ban

 Nassir Al Shamrani expressed pride at winning Asia`s player of the year award on Sunday as he shrugged off an impending an eight-match ban for spitting and head-butting.

Asian player of the year `proud` despite ban

Manila: Nassir Al Shamrani expressed pride at winning Asia`s player of the year award on Sunday as he shrugged off an impending an eight-match ban for spitting and head-butting.

The Saudi striker preferred to focus solely on his achievement at being named Asia`s best footballer, which came on the back of his 10 goals for Al Hilal in the AFC Champions League.

Sources earlier confirmed reports the 31-year-old was set to be banned for eight matches for his actions which sparked a melee at the end of the bitterly contested Champions League final on November 1.

"I`m living for today, I`m not thinking about anything else. I`m proud I`m the best men`s player of the year -- anything else, please talk to AFC," Al Shamrani told reporters. 

"I`m just thinking about today and I`m proud of myself, and it`s not the first time I`ve won prizes."

Al Shamrani beat out competition from Al Ain`s Ismail Ahmed and Qatar`s Khalfan Ibrahim to take the top prize at the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) awards night in Manila.

He was at the centre of a mass shoving match in Al Hilal`s contentious 1-0 defeat to Australia`s Western Sydney Wanderers following the final`s second leg in Riyadh.

Video footage shows Al Shamrani spitting at Wanderers defender Matthew Spiranovic after the Australian club`s win, prompting a mass confrontation between the two teams.

Al Hilal cried foul over their defeat in the final, saying they were denied six penalties and calling it a "black spot in the history of Asian football".

Al Shamrani is unlikely to repeat his goal-scoring feats in next year`s Champions League as his ban for eight games of the competition looks set to be announced in the coming days.

"Winning this prize doesn`t affect our sadness at losing the AFC Champions League cup. We feel we played better (than the Wanderers) but it`s bad luck for us that we lost," he said.

"We still feel unhappy that we lost the Champions League. This is not a personal thing, this is a team event and I wanted us to win both prizes. It`s unforgettable for us."

Katrina Gorry was named women`s player of the year after hitting the net three times in Australia`s run to the Women`s Asian Cup final.

Tony Popovic was coach of the year and the Wanderers were best team after their feat in becoming Australia`s first ever Champions League winners and on their debut in the competition.

Palestine were named best national team for their feat in winning the AFC Challenge Cup, a victory which earned them a berth at next year`s Asian Cup in Australia.

Australia`s Crystal Palace midfielder Mile Jedinak won international player of the year, and best foreign player went to Al Ain`s Ghanaian striker Asamoah Gyan.

From Zee News

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