Vote for your best AFC Champions League 2020 (West) Team: Defenders | Football

Kuala Lumpur: The return of the 2020 AFC Champions League (East) is now just weeks away but before this season’s Continental campaign resumes, continues its quest to find out who the fans consider the Best XI from the West Asia stage.

Last week we presented the candidates for the 2020 edition’s best goalkeeper, and now we shine the spotlight on the players who will make up the backline.

So, here are the 14 players in contention for the four places in defence. Review the nominees and then choose your favourite defenders for this all-star XI in the respective polls.


Sultan Al Ghannam – Al Nassr

  • 4 assists (#1 by a defender)
  • 19 interceptions (#1 by a defender)
  • 45 duels won (joint #2 by a defender)

One of the stars of Al Nassr’s best-ever AFC Champions League campaign, Sultan Al Ghannam shone both at the back and going forward. When it comes to both assists and chances created, the right-back has posted more than any other player in West Asia while his performance in the quarter-final victory over Al Ahli Saudi saw him voted the Toyota Player of the Week.

Siamak Nemati – Persepolis

  • 21 crosses in open play (#3 by a defender)
  • 6 chances created
  • 1 assist

Injuries to others forced Persepolis coach Yahya Golmohammadi to move midfielder Siamak Nemati to right-back ahead of the tournament’s resumption in Qatar and, such were his performances, he made the position his own. The Tehran native was part of a backline so tight it didn’t concede from open play in seven games in Doha while he was also a constant threat going forward.

Pedro Miguel – Al Sadd

  • 20 tackles (#1 by a defender)
  • 45 duels won (joint #2 by a defender)
  • 2 chances created, 1 assist

A consistent performer during more than four years at Al Sadd, Pedro Miguel was at his combative best in the 2020 edition as he won more tackles than any other defender and ranked high on the duels won. In an attacking Al Sadd team, the full-back was also a strong presence going forward, weighing in with both chances created and assists.

Khojiakbar Alijonov – Pakhtakor

  • 12 tackles won (#2 by a defender)
  • 33 duels won
  • 6 chances created, 1 assist

Pakhtakor produced their best performance in the AFC Champions League since 2009 as the Uzbek giants reached the quarter-finals, and Khojiakbar Alijonov was one of many standout performers. An excellent assist helped the Tashkent side level the scores in the Round of 16 against Esteghlal before Pakhtakor marched on to the last eight.


Shojae Khalilzadeh – Persepolis

  • 14 tackles won (#1 by a defender)
  • 2 goals scored (#1 by a defender)
  • 598 passes and 231 passes in opp. half (both…

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