2 Iranian footballers shortlisted for best Asian player
Two renowned Iranian soccer players Alireza Jahanbakhsh and Alireza Beiranvand are among the nominees for the Best Footballer in Asia 2018.
China's Fox Sports website has listed the name of 24 people as the nominees for the best Asian football players in 2018.
Jahanbakhsh and Beiranvand whose names have been put on the list are respectively the striker and the goalkeeper for Iran's national football team.
Alireza Beiranvand had an impressive performance in the 2018 Russia World Cup, the peak of which was saving Cristiano Ronaldo’s penalty in the match against Portugal. He also proved his quality in AFC Champions League with Persepolis, reaching the final of the event while having the highest number of clean sheets compared to other goalkeepers.
The Iranian winger Alireza Jahanbakhsh scored 21 goals for AZ Alkmaar in 2017–18 Eredivisie, becoming the first Asian player to become top scorer in a major European league. Some believe that he didn’t fulfill expectations in 2018 Russia World Cup while others maintain that his performance was mainly affected by the defensive style of the national team in the World Cup, especially in matches against Spain and Portugal. Jahanbakhsh is now playing for Premier League side Brighton & Hove Albion.
Iran is most of the time atop the national squads of Asia in FIFA world rankings.