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Gamba Osaka midfielder Yasuhito Endo has been named Asian Player of the Year, the Asian Football Confederation said in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday.

Endo became the fourth Japanese player to win the award, following Masami Ihara (1995), Hidetoshi Nakata (1997-98) and Shinji Ono (2002).

“I hope I can be a role modal for young players everywhere and give hope to others in Asian football,” said Endo, who helped Japan qualify for the 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa.

The National Team of the Year award went to South Korea.

South Korea’s Huh Jung Moo won the Coach of the Year award over Japanese counterpart Takeshi Okada and North Korea’s Kim Jong Hun.

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