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India's Sunil Chhetri ranked above Andres Iniesta, Paulinho in the Best Footballer in Asia 2018 list

ANALYST
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8.77K   //    05 Jan 2019, 14:25 IST

Sunil Chhetri was ranked twelve places ahead of Andres Iniesta
Sunil Chhetri was ranked twelve places ahead of Andres Iniesta

What's the Story?

India's Sunil Chhetri has been ranked above 2010 FIFA World Cup winner Andres Iniesta and former Barcelona and Tottenham Hotspur star Paulinho in the 'Best Footballer in Asia 2018' list. Both the prominent players are currently plying their trade in Asia with Japan's Vissel Kobe and China's Guangzhou Evergrande respectively.

Tottenham Hotspur and South Korea's 26-year-old forward Son Heung Min won the accolade for the fourth time.

In case you don't know...

Titan Sports gives out the 'Best Footballer in Asia' award annually wherein Asians plying their trade abroad, and foreigners playing for clubs in Asia are also eligible.

This award should not be confused with the AFC's Asian Footballer of the Year in which only the Asians representing clubs from the continent are eligible.

This is not the first time Sunil Chhetri has been nominated and awarded a position in the list as he finished in the 25th spot in 2017. This year, he has climbed four positions to finish in the 21st spot.

The heart of the matter

Tottenham Hotspur's Son Heung Min won the prestigious award by a margin of 142 points
Tottenham Hotspur's Son Heung Min won the prestigious award by a margin of 142 points

Representatives from 35 AFC affiliated nations and Asian football experts from reputed media organizations like "French Football", "Gazzetta dello Sport", AFP, Reuters, and South China Morning Post constituted the 44-member jury. Each juror had to select five best footballers and award them 6, 4, 3, 2, and 1 point respectively in descending order with 6 being given to their first preference and 1 being given to their fifth preference.

Sunil Chhetri bagged the attention of two jurors who awarded him the second and third spot. As a result, the Bengaluru FC captain finished in the 21st spot tied with South Korea's Zhao Xianyou on seven points. Here are the final standings:

Rank / player (nationality / club ) 1st , 2nd , 3rd , 4th , 5th Total score

01 Son Heung Min (South Korea / Tottenham Hotspur ) 30 2 5 1 1 206

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02 Makato Hasebe (Japan / Eintracht Frankfurt ) 7 2 2 1 6 64

03 Alireza Beirenvand (Iran /Persepolis FC) 2 4 3 5 3 50

04 Suzuki Yuma (Japan / Kashima Antler) 1 4 6 2 2 46

05 Baghdad Bounedjah (Algeria/ Al Sadd SC) 2 3 0 2 3 31

06 Wu Lei (China / Shanghai SIPG) 1 4 0 1 4 28

07 Alireza Jahanbaksh (Iran/AZ Alkmaar-Brighton & Hove Albion) 0 1 5 4 1 28

08 Neil Etheridge (Philippines / Cardiff City) 0 5 0 3 0 26

09 Takashi Inui (Japan / Eibar- Real Betis) 0 3 3 2 1 26

10 Abdelkarim Hassan (Qatar/ Al Sadd FC) 1 2 0 4 2 24

11 Yuya Osako (Japan / FC Koln- Werder Bremen) 0 3 1 2 1 20

12 Aaron Mooy (Australia/ Huddersfield) 0 1 2 2 5 19

13 Matthew Ryan (Australia/Brighton & Hove Albion) 0 2 2 0 2 16

14 Salman Al-Faraj (Saudi Arabia /Al- Hilal) 0 3 1 0 0 15

15 Nguyen Quang Hai (Vietnam/ Ha Noi FC) 0 0 2 2 3 13

16 Akram Afif (Qatar/Al Sadd SC) 0 3 0 0 0 12

17 Kwon Sun-Tae (South Korea / Kashima Antler) 0 0 2 2 1 11

18 Hwang Ui-Jo (South Korea / Gamba Osaka) 0 0 2 1 1 9

19 Marcus Berg (Sweden / Al-Ain FC) 0 0 0 3 3 9

20 Gen Shoji (Japan / Kashima Antler) 0 0 2 1 0 8

21 Sunil Chhetri (India / Bengaluru FC) 0 1 1 0 0 7

21 Zhao Xianyou (Korea / Daegu) 0 1 1 0 0 7

23 Valery Kichin (Kyrgyzstan / Yenisei) 0 0 0 2 0 4

24 Paulinho (Brazil/Barcelona-Guangzhou Evergrande) 0 0 1 0 0 3

24 Caio (Brazil / Al Ain) 0 0 1 0 0 3

24 Omar Al Somah (Syria/ Al-Ahli) 0 0 1 0 0 3

24 Chanathip Songkrasin (Thailand / Consadole Sapporo) 0 0 1 0 0 3

28 Kengo Nakamura (Japan / Kawasaki Frontale) 0 0 0 1 0 2

28 Shinji Kagawa (Japan / Borussia Dortmund) 0 0 0 1 0 2

28 Odil Ahmedov (Uzbekistan / Shanghai SIPG) 0 0 0 1 0 2

28 Sardar Azmoun (Iran/Rubin Kazan) 0 0 0 1 0 2

32 Serginho (Brazil / America Mineiro- Kashima Antlers) 0 0 0 0 2 2

33 Andres Iniesta (Spain/Vissel Kobe ) 0 0 0 0 1 1

33 Daigo Nishi (Japan / Kashima Antler) 0 0 0 0 1 1

33 Altymrat Annadurdyyew (Turkmenistan/ Altyn Asyr) 0 0 0 0 1 1

What's next?

Sunil Chhetri should captain the Indian football team in their encounter against Thailand
Sunil Chhetri should captain the Indian football team in their encounter against Thailand

India will cross swords with Thailand on 6th January to kickstart their 2019 AFC Asian Cup campaign and, Sunil Chhetri is expected to wear the captain's armband. The fact that he is ranked ahead of Barcelona legend Andres Iniesta, Brazilian midfield maestro Paulinho, and former Manchester United star Shinji Kagawa should boost his morale immensely.


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