Son Heung-min Beats Azmoun, Taremi to Become Best Footballer in Asia

Son Heung-min Beats Azmoun, Taremi to Become Best Footballer in Asia

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Tottenham ace Son Heung-min was rewarded for another fine year by winning a fifth consecutive Best Footballer in Asia award -- and 7th overall in the prize's nine-year history.

The 29-year-old, who scored 17 goals in all competitions at club level in 2021, was particularly influential for Spurs in the earlier stages of the ongoing campaign in the absence of Harry Kane, who was initially out of the squad having failed to force a move to fellow Premier League outfit Manchester City.

Son also continued to play a pivotal role for South Korea with four goals in eight matches, helping the Taegeuk Warriors make an unbeaten start after six games of the third and final round of Asian qualifiers for the 2022 FIFA World Cup as they remain on course to qualify for the tournament for a 10th consecutive time, reported.

The Best Footballer in Asia award, which was first introduced in 2013 and devised as the continent's equivalent to the Ballon d'Or, sees experts from 37 of the Asian Football Confederation's 47 member associations and an additional 13 guest judges cast votes for their top five players of the calendar year, who are accordingly awarded six, four, three, two and one points respectively.

With 31 first-place votes and a total of 242 points, Son was the clear winner in 2021 ahead of Iran's Sardar Azmoun (111 points) and Mehdi Taremi (90 points) of Zenit and Porto respectively.

Saudi Arabia international Salem Al-Dawsari, who helped Al Hilal claim a record fourth AFC Champions League title, finished fourth on 74 points, while the top five was rounded out by Japan's Takehiro Tomiyasu (50 points), who has made an immediate impact since joining Premier League giants Arsenal from Bologna.

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