Akram Afif has been named the AFC Player of the Year for 2019 after his starring role in Qatar's Asian Cup triumph.

Afif – who has played for Al Sadd, coached by Barcelona legend Xavi, on loan from Villarreal since 2018 – provided 10 assists in seven appearances as World Cup 2022 host Qatar claimed its maiden Asian Cup title.

The 23-year-old saw off competition from Iran goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand and Japan's Tomoaki Makino for the award, which was won by his Qatari team-mate Abdelkarim Hassan in 2018.


"Very happy to be selected as the Asian Player of the Year," Afif tweeted.

"This is a great honour for me. thanks to my team-mates and brothers the players of my club as well as the coaching staff and all the national team family, would like to tell them we are all 'players of the year'."

As well as his success in the Asian Cup, Afif also played a crucial role as Xavi's Al Sadd won the Qatar Stars League title in 2018-19, scoring 26 goals in 22 appearances.