The Asian Championship U23, which serves as a qualifying tournament for the Olympic Games 2020, starts on this Wednesday. Sixteen nations will battle in Thailand on January to earn one of the three spots for the Olympic Games. Around sixty players seen at the Maurice Revello Tournament will take part in the AFC U23. Some of them boast already a solid experience.
Group A : Thailand, Iraq, Australia, Bahrain
Group B : Qatar, Japan (already qualified for the Olympic Games as the country host), Saudi Arabia, Syria
Group C : Uzbekistan, South Korea, China, Iran
Group D : Vietnam, DPR Korea, Jordan, United Arab Emirates
THE 61 MAURICE REVELLO TOURNAMENT GRADUATES SELECTED FOR THE AFC U23
Bahrain : Hamad Al Shamsan, Ahmed Al Sherooqi, Abbas Al-Asfoor, Mohamed Marhoon, Sanad Saleh, Mohamed Al Hardan, Abdulaziz Khalid, Hasan Al Karrani, Hashim Sayed Isa, Jasim Al Salama, Adnan Al Shirah, Abdulrahman Ahmedi, Salem Adel Hasan, Ammar Mohamed
China : Tong Lei, Huang Cong, Hu Jinghang, Chen Binbin, Chen Wei, Feng Boxuan, Yang Shuai, Zhang Lingfeng, Zhang Yan
South Korea : Um Won-Sang, Oh Se-Hun
Japan : Yugo Tatsuta, Daiki Suga, Daiki Sugioka, Shunta Tanaka, Ao Tanaka, Koki Ogawa, Keita Endo, Keisuke Osako, Ayase Ueda, Tsukasa Morishima, Makoto Okazaki, Yuki Soma, Kyosuke Tagawa, Reo Hatate, Taiyo Koga, Taishi Matsumoto, Daiki Hashioka
Qatar : Meshaal Barsham, Abdollah Saei, Ali Karami, Ahmed Al Suhail, Mohammed Jadoua Al Bayati, Yusuf Abdurisag, Nasser Al Ahrak, Hassan Palang, Abdullah Al Ahrak, Amro Surag, Khalifa Khalaf, Adel Bader Al Ahmad, Hashim Ali, Abdelrahman Moustafa, Ahmed Al Minhali, Khalid Mazeed, Yazan Naim, Mohammed Al Bakri, Homam Ahmed
ONES TO WATCH
Ao Tanaka (Japan – Kawasaki Frontale)
The Japanese side, already qualified for the Tokyo Olympics as the country host, will take part in the AFC U23 with a strong team. Several players of this squad have already earned an interntional cap at the senior level thanks to the Japan Football Association's policy which is to give international experience to the biggest number of youngsters. Among them, Ao Tanaka. Named in the Maurice Revello Tournament 2019 best XI, the 21-year-old midfielder has met the expectations afterwards : in addition to establishing himself as a regular starter for Kawasaki Frontale (4th of the J-League), Tanaka has also been named Japanese league's best young player of the season. Promising.
Chen Binbin (China – Shanghai SIPG)
The 21-year-old winger has impressed during the Maurice Revello Tournament 2019 notably thanks to his ability to deliver accurate crosses from the left wing. Since that, the China international (2 caps) continued to earn game time in the Chinese Super League with Shanghai SIPG, scoring notably his first goal in the top-flight against the Hebei Fortune of Mascherano, Lavezzi & co !
Youssef Abdurisag (Qatar – Al Arabi)
Since his participation to the Maurice Revello Tournament 2018, the 20-year-old midfiedler has enjoyed an astonishing rise. A regular starter for the Qatar Stars League side Al Arabi, Abdurisag forced his way into the Qatar senior team starting XI. To this day, he has 6 international caps with the Asian champions and has netted his first goal during the World Cup 2022 qualifiers.
Mohamed Marhoon (Bahrain – Bohemians)
The Bahrain international (8 caps, 1 goal), who played both Maurice Revello Tournaments 2017 and 2019, has enjoyed a thrilling 2019 year capped by a transfer to the Czech side Bohemians and a Gulf Cup won with his country against the Saudi Arabia of Hervé Renard.
Crédits photo : Getty Images