Vote for your best AFC Champions League 2020 (West) Team: Midfielders

Over the past two weeks we have seen the goalkeeper and the back four in front of him decided, so now it's time to turn our attention to the midfield and find out who you consider the top trio.

So, here are the 10 players in contention for three places in the centre of the park. Review the candidates and then select your favourite for this all-star XI in the poll below.

Santi Cazorla – Al Sadd

  • 1 goal, 2 assists
  • 9 chances created
  • 285 passes, 89% passing accuracy

Santi Cazorla

Adding further class to an already excellent Al Sadd midfield, Santi Cazorla was a welcome addition to the AFC Champions League, scoring a goal on his debut against Al Ain and adding two assists against the same opposition in his next game. At his best when dictating the play, the Spaniard attempted an average of more then 70 passes per game and created nine chances for his teammates.

Bashar Resan – Persepolis

  • 1 goal, 2 assists
  • 12 chances created (#3 in ACL 2020 – West)
  • 423 passes (#2 by a midfielder)

246 – Of the two teams, Persepolis linchpin Bashar Resan has made the highest number of successful passes in the opposition half. 

Basher Resan has developed into one of Persepolis' key players in recent times and the Iraqi was outstanding in his side's run to the final. Among a number of crucial contributions, the midfielder held his nerve to score from the spot in the 1-0 group stage win over Al Taawoun while he also assisted the Tehran team's equalising goal against Al Nassr in the semi-finals.

Abdulmajeed Al Sulaiheem – Al Nassr

  • 345 passes, 92.57% passing accuracy
  • 11 interceptions (#2 by a midfielder)
  • 8 dribbles completed

Abdulmajeed Al Sulaiheem

Another player who is comfortable in possession, Abdulmajeed Al Sulaiheem quietly goes about his business while others in the Al Nassr line-up grab the headlines. But his role in the Riyadh side is integral, with the midfielder rarely giving the ball away, a statistic highlighted by the fact that of all the players who made more than 300 passes, his completion rate was the highest.

Jaloliddin Masharipov – Pakhtakor

  • 2 goals, 2 assists
  • 14 chances created (#1 in ACL 2020 – West)
  • 24 dribbles completed ( (#1 in ACL 2020 – West)

14 – Jaloliddin Masharipov created two goals, had a hand in another and delivered 14 passes into the area as Pakhtakor saw off Shahr Khodro 3-0. 

A constant threat down the Pakhtakor left, Jaloliddin Masharipov enjoyed an excellent 2020 AFC Champions League campaign as he weighed in with goals and assists, while the Uzbek international impressively topped the chances created and dribbles completed charts. His tournament, however, ended on a sour note following a red card in the quarter-finals against Persepolis.

Akram Afif – Al Sadd

  • 3 goals (#1 by a midfielder)
  • 13 chances created (#2 by a midfielder)
  • 78% passing accuracy

34 – There were goals galore over 14 games as the tournament returned. Akram Afif (above) netted his second and third of the campaign.

One of the brightest young talents in Asian football, Qatari superstar Akram Afif sparkled in the group stage, scoring in three successive matches as Al Sadd progressed to the knockout rounds. One of his more eye-catching statistics, meanwhile, was that in each of his first four matches the Doha native created three chances as he proved a thorn in opposition defences.

Mehdi Ghaedi – Esteghlal

  • 1 goal, 1 assist
  • 7 chances created
  • 73% passing accuracy

Mehdi Ghaedi-Esteghlal vs Al Ahli Saudi-ACL2020

Mehdi Ghaedi has been highly rated in the Islamic Republic of Iran for some time and it's fair to say he is currently Esteghlal's most prized asset. The talented midfielder showed why in Doha, with excellent link-up play in an exciting forward line and a standout performance against Al Ahli Saudi in which he scored one and created another to help the Tehran giants reach the knockout phase.

Caio – Sharjah

  • 2 goals, 2 assists
  • 7 shots on target (Joint #1 by a midfielder)
  • 12 chances created (#3 by a midfielder)


A finalist in 2016 with Al Ain, Brazilian Caio returned with Sharjah this time round and showed he'd lost none of the attacking ability that made him such a threat four years earlier. Back-to-back goals in big wins over Al Duhail and Al Taawoun gave his side a strong chance of progressing to the Round of 16, although the Emirati side ultimately fell just short.

Ali Faez – Al Shorta

  • 1 goal, 2 assists
  • 10 chances created
  • 81% passing accuracy

Ali Faez

Ali Faez's opening-day penalty against Esteghlal secured a point for Al Shorta in their return to the AFC Champions League after a 15-year hiatus. Expert deliveries from corners saw the midfielder claim two assists in two games as the Baghdad side defeated Al Ahli Saudi and drew with Esteghlal in Doha, only to miss out on a place in the last 16 on goals scored alone.

Kamal Kamyabinia – Persepolis

  • 93% passing accuracy
  • 9 out of 10 tackles won
  • 11 interceptions

Kamal Kamyabinia

Mr. Consistency in the Persepolis engine room, Kamal Kamyabinia was reliable as ever as his side produced a string of resilient performances to reach the final for the second time in three years. Sitting in front of the back four, the Tehran native was solid in the tackle, constantly broke up opposition attacks and rarely gave the ball away – as shown by his excellent stats above.

Hassan Al Haydos – Al Sadd

  • 3 goals scored (Joint #1 by a midfielder)
  • 24 crosses from open play
  • 104 successful passes

Hassan Al Haydos-Al Sadd v Al Nassr-AFP

Few teams can boast the star quality of Al Sadd, with Hassan Al Haydos another attacking midfielder in a side replete with talent. Three goals in his opening two games, including a lovely flick against Sepahan, saw him start the 2020 campaign with a bang before he also weighed in with two assists in Doha. Unfortunately for Al Haydos and his teammates, the dream ended in the last 16 against Persepolis.

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