Abu Dhabi, - Al Ain and United Arab Emirates star Omar Abdulrahman was named the 2016 AFC Player of the Year beating Iraq's Hammadi Ahmed and Wu Lei from China at the AFC Annual Awards 2016 gala event in Abu Dhabi on Thursday.
Beaten to the 2015 award by compatriot Ahmed Khalil, Abdulrahman deserved the accolade following a string of stellar performances for both club and country.
The diminutive midfielder, 25, played pivotal roles in guiding Al Ain to this season's AFC Champions League final, and the UAE to within touching distance of a place at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
Despite failing to land silverware with Al Ain at the end of a domestic season, which saw the Emirati giants finish second in the league and runners-up in the President's Cup, Abdulrahman shone brightly during his side's quest for AFC Champions League glory.
In total, the midfield maestro garnered eight man of the match awards, three goals and plaudits galore as Al Ain stormed through the group stage, overcame Zobahan, Lokomotiv and El Jaish in the knockout phase and then lost to Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors over two legs in the final after which Abdulrahman was duly voted the Toyota Most Valuable Player of the competition.
Affectionately known as Amoory, Abdulrahman has been equally impressive on the international stage. He bagged a further two man of the match accolades and a goal against Saudi Arabia as his dazzling 2016 performances helped steer the UAE through to the ongoing final round of qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
In the women's category Australia international Caitlin Foord was named the AFC Women's Player of the Year for 2016 on Thursday, fending off competition from compatriot Lisa De Vanna and China's Tan Ruyin to land the award.
In a glowing testimony to her undoubted talent, Foord becomes only the second player after China's Ma Xiaoxu to receive both the youth and senior accolades following her AFC Women's Youth Player of the Year success in 2011.
Foord, who holds the record as the youngest ever Australian to play for the Matildas when she memorably appeared at the 2011 FIFA World Cup in Germany aged just 16, has enjoyed a standout year and was a consistent performer during her country's Olympic Games campaign in Brazil.
The forward excelled throughout Australia's Rio adventure, appearing four times and scoring in a Group F encounter with Germany as Alen Stajcic's side reached the competition's quarter-finals before losing to host nation Brazil on penalties.
With over 50 senior international caps to her name - including five games at her second FIFA World Cup in 2015 - Foord has become a mainstay of the Australia national team, as well as a highly sought after commodity for clubs around the world.
Currently enjoying her third spell with Sydney FC in Australia's W-League, the striker has also played for domestic rivals Perth Glory and Central Coast Mariners as well as American outfit Sky Blue FC.
Meanwhile, AFC Champions League 2016 winning coach Choi Kang-hee of South Korean club Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors won the AFC Coach of the Year award at the event.
The 57-year-old's latest achievement comes less than a week after guiding Jeonbuk to their second AFC Champions League title thanks to a 3-2 aggregate success over Al Ain.
As for women, Chan Yuen-ting was named AFC Women's Coach of the Year for guiding Eastern Sports Club to both the Hong Kong Premier League and Senior Challenge Shield titles.
She became the first-ever female coach to have led a professional men's team to a top-flight championship, a feat that landed the unassuming Hong Kong native a place in the Guinness Book of World Records.
Also during the event, the Football Federation Australia (FFA), Philippine Football Federation (PFF) and National Football Association of Brunei Darussalam (NFABD) received the AFC President Recognition Award for Grassroots Football 2016.
The nominations for the award are based on a points system which takes into account several criteria such as the structure and management of grassroots football as well as the philosophy and policy of member associations.
Other criteria include exchange programs such as those with schools, administrative sub-regional football associations, communities and clubs as well as grassroots activities, for example promotional, educational and social responsibility events.
Source: Qatar News Agency