August 13 – With the countdown to the AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2023 final now with less than five months to go, the AFC have taken a fan-engagement trip into the history books asking fans to name their all-time Dream XI.
A pool of 48 players was nominated for fans to choose from. Voting opened on July 12 and ended on July 30, with the final squad established based on the most highly voted players in each position, combined with the selections of a panel of Asian football experts.
The final XI saw four Japanese and three South Korean legends selected, alongside two Iranians, and one Australian and one Saudi Arabian.
Saudi Arabia’s legendary goalkeeper Mohammed Al-Deayea was the top choice between the sticks for the competition’s Dream XI. Meanwhile, the defensive line consisted of four national and Continental icons: Japan’s Yuto Nagatomo and Yuji Nakazawa, Islamic Republic of Iran’s Mehdi Mahdavikia and Korea Republic’s Hong Myung-bo.
The midfield comprised Korea Republic legend Park Ji-sung and Japan’s 2011 AFC Asian CupT winner Keisuke Honda, as well as 2000 and 2004 AFC Asian CupTM winner Shunsuke Nakamura.
In the final third, fans selected three forwards who made a name for themselves in both Asian and global football: Korea Republic star Son Heung-min, IR Iran’s beloved legend Ali Daei and 2015 AFC Asian Cup champion Tim Cahill.
Here is the final AFC Asian CupTM Dream XI:
GOALKEEPER: Mohammed Al-Deayea (KSA)
DEFENDERS: Yuto Nagatomo (JPN), Hong Myung-bo (KOR), Mehdi Mahdavikia (IRN), Yuji Nakazawa (JPN)
MIDFIELDERS: Park Ji-sung (KOR), Keisuke Honda (JPN), Shunsuke Nakamura (JPN)
FORWARDS: Son Heung-min (KOR), Ali Daei (IRN), Tim Cahill (AUS)
SUBSTITUTES: Mathew Ryan (AUS), Saleh Al Nuaimah (KSA), Nashat Akram (IRQ), Majed Abdullah (KSA)
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