|Korean player beats Hau to win AFC Youth Player of the Year
According to the AFC’s website, the Korean attacking midfielder played a key role in helping the Republic of Korea to the final of the FIFA U-20 World Cup in May, turning in a number of inspiring performances.
Following success on the international stage, Lee once again made headlines in September when he scored on his first start for La Liga giants Valencia, becoming the youngest non-Spanish player to score in the Spain’s top division in the process.
The website adds that the 18-year-old also received his first call up to the senior team in March for international friendlies against Bolivia and Colombia, eventually making his debut in September and becoming an important part of Paulo Bento's squad for the ongoing Asian Qualifiers.
Going into the awards ceremony, Doan Van Hau had been named as the only Vietnamese representative in contention for the Young Footballer of the Year award.
This year, the Vietnamese defender has developed into a key player for the national team, in addition to playing a key role for the U19, U22, and U23 squads. Following a string of strong performances over the past year, he attracted the attention of scouts from, the Netherlands, Germany, Japan, and Thailand.
Often utilised as a versatile fullback, Van Hau made a significant contribution to the national team during their AFF Cup win, in addition to being a key member of the U23 team on their way to winning silver in the Asian U23 Championship last year. He has also represented numerous national teams, playing at tournaments such as the U20 World Cup and the Asian Cup.
His rise to prominence has seen Van Hau recently sign a one-year loan deal with leading Dutch side SC Heerenveen.
The other winners of the AFC Awards include Tottenham Hotspur’s Son Heung-min, who received the AFC Asian International Player of the Year award, while Jung-yong was named as the AFC’s Men’s Coach of the Year.
Qatar’s rising star Akram Hassan Afif and Saki Kumagai of Japan won the AFC Player of the Year Award in the men’s and women’s categories, respectively.