Article

Lee named AFC Player of the Year

29 November 2012 18:36

South Korea international Lee Keun-Ho was named the Asian Football Confederation's 2012 Player of the Year on Thursday.

The former Gamba Osaka man beat 2004 recipient Ali Karimi of Persepolis and Iran and Guangzhou Evergrande defender Zheng Zhi for the award, which has come in for criticism in previous years for insisting nominees attend the ceremony in order to be eligible to win.

The 2012 Asian Champions League MVP had a prosperous year for Ulsan, scoring four goals in his side's 12-match unbeaten campaign on the way to a 3-0 win over Saudi Arabia's Al-Ahli in the final.

Lee also scored eight goals in domestic play for Ulsan, who finished fifth in the K-League, as well as five goals and three assists in eight appearances for the South Korea national team.

In the first year of the ceremony's revised format, the AFC Asian International Player of the Year and AFC Foreign Player of the Year also received honours.

In the first category, created this year to recognise Asian players playing outside of the continent, Japan and Manchester United superstar Shinji Kagawa saw off international team-mate Yuto Nagatomo as well as Australia's Mark Schwarzer.

Brazilian Rogerio de Assis Silva Coutinho of Kuwait SC was handed the Foreign Player of the Year award, beating fellow countrymen Bruno Correa of Sepahan and Ricardo de Oliveira of the United Arab Emirates' Al-Jazira.

2012 AFC Awards:
Member Association of the Year - Iran
Fair Play Association of the Year - Uzbekistan
Dream Asia Award - United Arab Emirates
Futsal Team of the Year - Japan National Team
Club of the Year - Ulsan
Women's Player of the Year - Aya Miyama

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