KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 7 (AFP): Manchester United winger Park Ji-Sung, Celtic midfielder Shunsuke Nakamura and Bayern Munich star Ali Karimi have been shortlisted for the Asian Footballer of the Year crown.
South Korean star Park has received rave reviews since his move from Dutch champions PSV Eindhoven to the Premiership in the summer, with coach Sir Alex Ferguson hailing last week's display against Fulham as "scintillating".
Park, 24, was also ever-present in the Eindhoven side that reached the semi-finals of last year's European Champions League and won the league title.
The South Korean likely will face stiff competition for the prestigious Asian Football Confederation (AFC) award from 2004 winner Karimi.
The Iranian has surprised many pundits since his close-season switch from Al-Ahli in the United Arab Emirates to Bayern Munich by holding down a regular midfield place in the German giants' midfield.
Celtic midfielder Nakamura is now the player pulling the strings for the Japanese national team, guiding them to next year's World Cup finals in Germany and putting in some fine performances at this year’s Confederations Cup.
Nakamura has also been a big hit in Glasgow since this summer move from Serie A side Reggina with his defence-splitting passes and steady stream of crosses.
A total of 10 players will be fighting it out for the award, which is chosen by national coaches from the AFC's 45 federations and AFC executive committee members. It will be presented at a ceremony in Kuala Lumpur on November 30.
The other shortlisted players are veteran Saudi striker Sami Al-Jaber, Uzbek striker Maksim Shatskikh, Japanese midfielder Hidetoshi Nakata, South Korean defender Lee Young-Pyo, Saudi defender Hamad Al-Montashari, Saudi goalkeeper Mabrouk Zayed and Iranian midfielder Javad Nekounam.