KUALA LUMPUR, Nov. 29 (Xinhua) -- South Korean striker Lee Keun Ho was awarded the AFC Player of the Year 2012 on Thursday, as his football club Ulsan Hyundai became one of the biggest winners of the AFC Annual Award gala, bagging the best player, best club and best coach awards.
The 27-year-old striker has put on a convincing performance in helping the Ulsan Hyundai claim the this year's Asian Champions League champions without a single defeat. He was also awarded Most Valuable Player of the competition.
Lee said he was exciting to win the prestigious award, while praising the other two contenders, China's national football team skipper Zheng Zhi and 2004 AFC Player of the Year Mohammad Ali Karimi as "they deserve the prize as well."
The South Korean added that although he wishes to move to European leagues one day, he will complete his military service first.
Lee's coach Kim Ho Kon was named the AFC Coach of the Year Award.
Zheng Zhi fell short to become the second Chinese player to win the best player of the year after Fan Zhiyi in 2001, but he said the nomination had already been a great surprise to him.
The 32-year-old midfielder has brought his Guangzhou Evergrande to the quarterfinal of this year's AFC Champions League while winning both the league title and FA Cup in China. He is also the key player of the Chinese national team coached by Spaniard Jose Antonio Camacho.
Zheng is looking forward to bring the Guangzhou Evergrande and the national team to a better performance last year, which he describe as more important than his personal glory.
The other two Chinese nominees, Cui Yongmei and Qin Liang, also failed to win the assistant referee and referee for women of the year.
Aya Miyama of Japan won the AFC Women's Player of the Year, the second time in a row, and her Japan Olympic National Team which won the silver medal in London was awarded the best team of the year for women.
The South Korean Olympic Team won the AFC Natioanl Team of the Year for Man as it came third at the London Olympics.
Meanwhile, the two newly launched award, AFC Foreign Player of the Year and Asian International Player of the Year, went to Brazilian player Rogerio De Assis Silva Coutinho of AFC Cup champions Kuwait SC and Japanese midfielder Shinji Kagawa of English Premier League giants Manchester United.
Hamza Abu Samah from Malaysia, the longest serving AFC president, was awarded the Diamond of Asia Award for his " formidable legacy of leadership, vision and determination" when he was in charge of the Asian football governing body from 1978 until 1994.