Dubai: India’s Sunil Chhetri has been nominated for the ‘Best Footballer in Asia 2018’ award by the Titan Sports.
The Bengaluru FC captain was also nominated for the award in 2017 but finished in the 25th place only ahead of Saudi Arabia’s Osama Hawsawi and Yasser Al Shahrani. Other than Chhetri, Lalrindika Ralte is the only Indian to have been nominated for the award in its inaugural 2013 edition.
No Indian has ever won the award with the previous winners either being a Japanese or a South Korean. In 2018, Chhetri scored eight goals — thrice against Chinese Taipei in the 5-0 victory, twice against Kenya in their 3-0 victory, once against New Zealand in their 1-2 loss, and twice against Kenya in their 2-0 win in the final of the Intercontinental Cup in Mumbai.
Playing for Bengaluru FC, Chhetri has found the back of the net 22 times in 33 appearances in all official competitions, namely the AFC Cup, Indian Super League and Super Cup.
The award will see Asians playing anywhere in the world and foreigners plying their trade in Asian clubs eligible. Media representatives of nearly 40 AFC football associations and some Asian football experts from European football media outlets will constitute the juror panel and the winner will be announced in the final week of December.