Tasnim – KUALA LUMPUR, Iranian forwards Mehdi Ghaedi and Mehdi Abdi were nominated for the ‘Best Young Player in 2020’.
It was a footballing year like no other, but despite the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, Asia’s top players still delivered exceptional performances worthy of wider recognition.
For that reason, the-AFC.com invites the fans to cast their vote in Asia’s Choice – Fan Awards: Best Young Player in 2020, with 60 percent of the votes to be supplied by the direct participation of fans on the-AFC.com, and the winners to be revealed on January 24.
Several young stars announced themselves at the AFC U-23 Championship Thailand 2020, won by Korea Republic last January, but more still managed to deliver standout seasons at club level, even despite the damage inflicted on the fixture lists throughout the continent and beyond.
Mehdi Ghaedi (22, Esteghlal/IRN)
Esteghlal’s Ghaedi shrugged off the disappointment of a narrow group stage elimination at the AFC U23 Championship Thailand 2020 to produce another impressive year at club level, headlined by three goals and one assist in six AFC Champions League appearances.
His influence helped Esteghlal finish as runner-up in both the Iran Pro League and Hazfi Cup – with Ghaedi scoring in the final of the latter competition – and he also became a senior international, scoring for Team Melli against Bosnia and Herzegovina in November.
Mehdi Abdi (22, Persepolis FC/IRN)
A league-winner with Persepolis in July, Abdi’s rise to prominence came largely in the second half of the year, where he produced quality performances in the club’s charge to the 2020 AFC Champions League final.
The exciting forward scored in the group stage, semi-final and, most notably, the final of Asia’a premier club competition, announcing himself as a potential star of the future.