FFT's Asia 50: Best XI 2016

We've picked our 50 best Asian players for the past year, but out of that esteemed group, who would form our starting 11? It wasn't easy, but the writers at FourFourTwo finally settled on our Asian team of the year.

Goalkeeper: Mat Ryan (Asia 50 No.12 overall)

Well, Ryan did not have much competition in this list, given that he is the only goalkeeper to be named within the top 50.

But make no mistake, Ryan is one of the best shot-stoppers in Asia. Without his fine performances, Australia might not have lifted the Asian Cup in 2015.

Right-back: Zhang Linpeng (No.18)

The ‘Chinese Sergio Ramos’, as he is known, Zhang gets our vote for his dynamic style of play.

Well known for his aerial ability, the China international has attracted the attention of many European clubs, including Chelsea, Real Madrid and Inter Milan.

Zhang is able to bomb forward at will and he will be a great support to Son Heung-Min, who is our pick at right wing.

Centre-back: Maya Yoshida (No.14)

Besides being a superb defender, Yoshida also has the right mental fortitude.

Just four years ago, when Southampton played Arsenal, Yoshida was thrown on for his English Premier League debut as a replacement for the injured Jos Hooived when the Saints trailed 1-0.

His first taste of English football was horrible to say the least, as Southampton went on to lose 6-1.

It was the nightmare of all debuts, but Yoshida worked harder than ever after that experience. His hard work paid off, as Yoshida earned a contract extension in early 2015.

If a team was ever in dire straits, you would hope Yoshida was part of the squad to keep heads up.

Centre-back: Kim Young-Gwon (No.10)

It’s not often a defender earns recognition – that accolade often goes to the attack-minded forwards – but South Korean Kim has managed to achieve that.

By being named the Korea Football Association top male player of the year, Kim managed to beat off the likes of Swansea’s Ki Sung-yueng and Tottenham’s Son Heung-min.

Uncompromising in defence, Kim will ensure no one comes close to his goalkeeper.

Left-back: Ali Adnan (No.16)

The first-ever Iraqi to play in Italy's Serie A, Adnan has been an important player for Udinese.

As a full-back, Adnan will ensure he fulfils his defensive duties. But he is also able to canter up and down the flanks to provide support to his wingers.

Adnan also packs a powerful shot and is well known for his blistering strikes from distance, especially from a dead-ball situation.