Japan midfielder Keisuke Honda has been named among the initial candidates for the 2010 Asian Player of the Year award, the Asian Football Confederation said Tuesday.
The list of 15 players also features South Korea captain Park Ji Sung, who like Honda played a pivotal role in helping his team progress to the second round of this summer’s World Cup in South Africa, and Australian Tim Cahill.
Honda scored Japan’s winner in the Blue Samurai’s opening 1-0 win over Cameroon and the CSKA Moscow man caught the eye again with the stunning free kick in a 3-1 defeat of Denmark as Takeshi Okada’s side reached the second round for the first time at a World Cup on foreign turf.
The award will be presented at the AFC Annual Awards gala in Kuala Lumpur on Nov. 24.
The candidates have been chosen based on MVP points awarded by Match Commissioners and the AFC’s Technical Study Group officers.