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.
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.