Xavi backs Qatar to compete at World Cup after Akram award

“I’ve been nominated a few times before, at last I’m able to win this award this year. I’m genuinely happy. I want to thank my team-mates who helped me to get this award,” said Kumagai. 

“As an individual inspiration I’m only thinking about playing well for my club Lyon,” she added, when asked about her next goals. 

“And also we have the Tokyo Olympics coming up next year which I think is one of my goals which I want to achieve so I have to perform in order to get any further individual trophies I think.”

Japan’s Asako Takakura was women’s coach of the year for a record seventh time, while Chung Jung-yong was the best men’s coach after he led South Korea to the Under-20 World Cup final.

With the top men’s award off-limits to anyone based outside Asia, South Korea’s Tottenham Hotspur star Son Heung-min was named international player of the year.

The awards ceremony took place in Hong Kong despite widespread pro-democracy protests that have engulfed the Chinese territory this year. 

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