After playing an integral part of Borussia Dortmund’s double success last season, the Japanese star beat Fulham goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer to the first edition of the awardJapan and Manchester United midfielder Shinji Kagawa has won the inaugural Asian Football Confederation International Player of the Year award.
The 23-year-old held off competition from international team-mate Yuto Nagatomo and Fulham’s Australian goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer to claim the prize.
Kagawa impressed earlier in the year as he helped Dortmund win the Bundesliga and DFB Pokal double before earning a move to United, where he has so far struggled with injury.
The midfielder has only played eight times for the league leaders so far this season, scoring two goals in the process, and has not featured since picking up a knee injury during a 3-2 home win over Braga in October.
Ulsan Hyundai's South Korean winger Lee Keun-Ho picked up the Asian Player of the Year award after helping his side remain unbeaten throughout their AFC Champions League-winning campaign.
Keun-Ho beat former Bayern Munich midfielder Ali Karimi and former Celtic player Zheng Zhi to the prize.