SHANGHAI (Kyodo) Akira Nishino, who steered Gamba Osaka to its first Asian Champions League title, was named the Asian Football Confederation Coach of the Year on Tuesday.

Nishino became the first Japanese to win the best coach award since Jubilo Iwata manager Takashi Kuwahara in 1998. Japan coach Phillipe Troussier received the award in 2000.

Gamba was chosen for the AFC Club Team of the Year and Japan for the National Team of the Year.

The Player of the Year award went to Uzbek midfielder Server Djeparov. Gamba midfielder Yasuhito Endo and Yokohama F. Marinos defender Yuji Nakazawa were among the five nominees for the award.

Former Japan Football Association chief Ken Naganuma, who died of pneumonia in June, was posthumously honored with the AFC Diamond of Asia award for his contribution to the development and promotion of football on and off the field within the Asian continent.

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