After an exciting and eventful 2012, the Goal.com Asia network calls upon our readers to select the best players of the year for each position, starting with goalkeeper
Goal.com has revamped the Asian Player and Team of the Month feature, giving you, the readers, an opportunity to express your opinion. Thanks to our worldwide team, we were able to put together a squad of the best Asian footballers throughout November in a 3-4-3 formation.
However, to assert who is the best Asian player for the month, we are calling on you, our loyal readers, to join in the poll and vote.
Asian Team of the Year Nominees: Goalkeepers
As the curtain fell on the 2012 Chinese Super League, few were surprised that Xiaofei was named the country's Goalkeeper of the Year. Second-place Sainty conceded the fewest goals - 29 - of any team in the league, and Xiaofei set a new domestic record by lasting 643 minutes without conceding a goal.
His strenuous efforts earned him the nickname 'Saint Xiaofei' from Sainty fans comparing him to 'Saint Iker' Castillas, and his club capped off a remarkable year with a berth in 2013's Asian Champions League.
|Nawaf Al Khaldi
Al Qadsia SC & Kuwait
The Kuwaiti international was one of the best Arabian goalkeepers of the year, conceding just ten goals from 21 games on the way to helping his side capture the 2011-2012 Kuwaiti Premier League.
On the way, Khalidi achieved a remarkable feat when he completed a run of 16 matches without conceding a goal between February 2011 and March 2012, totalling 1453 minutes and bested only by Geraldo Pereira in 1977 and 1978.
Fulham & Australia
Schwarzer began his year by signing a contract extension at Fulham through June, and remains one of the most reliable goalkeepers in England's top flight. He remains firmly as Australia's No. 1 despite a clutch of promising younger shot-stoppers waiting for him to vacate the position.
He claimed his 100th international cap for the Socceroos in 2012, and was one of three nominations - and the only goalkeeper - for the 2012 AFC Asian Player of the Year. Schwarzer shows no sign of tiring despite turning 40 this year, and should the Socceroos make the 2014 World Cup is expected to play then as well.
Suwon Bluewings & South Korea
Jung had the best year of his career in 2012, winning the bronze medal at the Olympics and playing steadily for both club and country. His appearance on the world stage indicates that South Korea has finally found a replacement for Lee Woon-Jae, and he was recognized as the K-League's top goalkeeper by his fellow players.
As an over-age Olypic selection, Jung showed maturity and led Korea to the semi-final against Brazil. His absense due to injury was considered by many to be the cause for Korea's defeat, but he returned to boast a clean sheet over Japan in the crucial bronze medal match.
Answer in the poll below and stay tuned for the rest of the Asian Team of the Year polls!