Chinese footballer Wang Shuang won the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Women's Player of the Year 2018 at a ceremony in the Omani capital of Muscat yesterday, becoming the fourth player from China to ever win the award.
Qatari footballer Abdelkarim Hassan, who currently plays for Al Sadd, was named AFC Player of the Year Award.
Wang Shuang, who currently plays for Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) in the Division 1 Féminine, beat Australian striker and last year's winner Samantha Kerr, as well as Japan's 2018 AFC Women's Asian Cup winner Saki Kumagai.
"It is a total honour for me to receive this precious award. I would like to thank the AFC. It has come as a surprise, but this award is inspiration for me to do well next year at the FIFA World Cup in France. I want to thank all my teammates - both from my club and country," said the 23-year-old Chinese midfielder.
She noted that it has been a year of great results, highlighting her August move to PSG and scoring in the UEFA Champions League. However, she expressed regret at not being able to do better in the Asian Games, in which China won silver and she was the tournament's second highest scorer with six goals.
"Football is a sport that stands for equality, I hope that this award will remind girls in Asia that if they have a dream, they should continue to chase that dream and to turn that it into reality," said Wang at the ceremony in Muscat.
The prestigious AFC Diamond of Asia Award was also presented to former AFC Acting President Zhang Jilong yesterday in recognition of his service and leadership over the last four decades to Chinese and Asian football, stated AFC President Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa.
Born in east China's Shandong Province in 1952 , Zhang has been instrumental in raising the standards of football in Asia. Among his many roles, he has worked for the Chinese Sports Commission, the Beijing Organising Committee for the 2008 Olympic Games and became a member of the FIFA World Cup Committee in 2006.