FRANKFURT: Former Japan national team captain Makoto Hasebe has been as presented with the Asian Football Confederation’s 2018 Asian International Player of the Year award at Eintracht Frankfurt’s Commerzbank Arena.

The 34-year-old Hasebe received the award from AFC Technical Director Andy Roxburgh before the Bundesliga match against Bayer Leverkusen, which Frankfurt won 2-1.

AFC President Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa praised Hasebe following a sterling season for Japan and Frankfurt.

“Congratulations to Hasebe on winning this award after a remarkable year for club and country. Under his captaincy, Japan reached the Round of 16 in the FIFA World Cup and this award is testament for achievements in 2018. He is an important member in the Frankfurt team and it is satisfying to see him represent the Continent in the Bundesliga.”

Hasebe skippered Japan in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia where the Blue Samurai were the only Asian team to advance to the knockout stage before suffering a heart-breaking 3-2 defeat to Belgium in the Round of 16.

He announced his retirement from international football after the FIFA World Cup, having made 114 appearances for Japan.

The defensive midfielder burst into the limelight with Urawa Red Diamonds where he made his debut in 2002 before signing for German club Vfl Wolfsburg in 2007.

After five successful seasons, Hasebe joined FC Nurnberg in 2013 before moving to Frankfurt in the following year and helped the team win the German Cup in May.

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