Who will bag the Best U-23 Player Award?
Bassam Al Rawi, Almoez Ali (both Al Duhail) and Salem Al Hajri (Al Sadd) are the three standout young players this season. Deservingly, they have been voted as the finalists for the Best Under-23 Player Award by the Qatar Football Association’s (QFA) Awards Committee.
Michael Laudrup (Al Rayyan), Jesualdo Ferreira (Al Sadd) and Djamel Belmadi (Al Duhail) are in contention for the Best Coach Award, while Nam Tae-Hee, Youssef Msakni (both Al Duhail) and Xavi Hernandez (Al Sadd) are vying for the Best Player Award.
The winners will be announced at the end-of-season ceremony at the Qatar National Convention Center in Education City on Thursday, 17th May.
QNB Stars League team coaches, Qatar national team coach, Qatar Olympic team coach, team managers, media representatives, representative of QFA, representative of Qatar Stars League Management, as well as president and Board members of the QFA participated in the final voting process.
QSL Online takes a look at Bassam, Almoez and Salem.
Bassam Al Rawi (Al Duhail)
Bassam Al Rawi is one of the most prominent U-23 players in Qatar football in general and Al Duhail in particular. He produced outstanding performances in some QNB Stars League matches in the current season, in the process playing his part in The Red Knights’ triumph with an unbeaten record.
Bassam also played an instrumental role in Al Duhail’s march into the AFC Champions League’s Round of 16 as they became the first team to reach the knockout stage in this year’s campaign.
He has a wealth of experience playing at the top level and the stint with the champion club of Qatar is surely doing his confidence a world of good.
He recently starred in Qatar’s triumph in an international friendly tournament in Iraq.
Bassam was loaned out to Celta Vigo in 2015 and KAS Eupen in 2016 by Al Rayyan. He returned in 2017 to Al Rayyan and then moved to Al Duhail.
Almoez Ali (Al Duhail)
Almoez Ali is one of the prominent players of Al Duhail even though he is only 21 years of age. He played an instrumental role in their QNB Stars League and Qatar Cup triumphs this season.
Almoez, who was voted as the best Under-23 player last season, is having an outstanding season this time as well. He scored crucial goals and gave many assists as team-mates Youssef El Arabi (26 goals) and Youssef Msakni (25) emerged as the best scorers in the QNB Stars League.
The wily striker has a vital role in Algerian coach Djamel Belmadi’s scheme of things. He has sound technique and physical abilities, and is highly talented.
Almoez is a graduate from the Aspire Academy in 2014. He is also an important member of the Qatar Olympic as well as national team.
He had emerged as the best player when Qatar finished third at the Asian U-23 Championship in China early this year.
Salem Al Hajri (Al Sadd)
Salem Al Hajri is one of the most influential players of Al Sadd, who won the season-opening Sheikh Jassim Cup and finished runners-up in the QNB Stars League and Qatar Cup.
He has exhibited excellent levels and was consistent in performance throughout the season. Salem was one of the three finalists for the same award last season as well and that speaks of the steady growth he has been making.
His confidence grew under the tutelage of Al Sadd’s Portuguese coach Jesualdo Ferreira. A graduate from the Aspire Academy, the defender has great technical skills and has the potential to make it really big.
Salem also represents the Qatar Olympic and national teams.