11-29-2007 11:05

Saudi Arabian national team player Yasser Al Qahtani eyes a ball during a training in Jakarta, July 2007. Al Qahtani was named Asian player of the year while Iraq was voted Asian team of the year at a glittering awards ceremony in Sydney.(AFP)

Asia celebrated its year in football with the annual AFC Awards Show in Sydney Wednesday. Australia's successful integration into Asia was just one of the accomplishments of 2007, and Saudi Arabia's Yasser Al Qahtani was named as the Asian Football Confederation Player of the Year. Iraq took home the title of National Team of the Year.

For the player of the Year award, while most thought it would go to Younis Mahmou, it was not to be his night. Mohammad Bin Hammam - "Yasser Al Qahtani from Saudi Arabia." The Al-Hilal and Saudi international striker beat Iraqi national skipper and Asian Cup MVP to the honour, which is determined using a points system that includes club and national team achievements. National Team of the Year honours went to Iraq, who thrilled the entire world when they won the Asian Cup as a war-torn nation desperate for something positive.