ONO GETS JUST DESERTS

Before the Feyenoord-Urawa Reds friendly Shinji Ono was presented with the Asian Footballer of the Year 2002 trophy. ‘I am very happy and proud of this prize, which is a reward for my efforts and for my contribution to Asian football,’ declared Ono in front of over 50,000 fans. ‘I want to thank the Asian association for this award and I would like to thank Feyenoord for making me the player I am today.’

‘This prize will undoubtedly inspire me to achieve even greater things in promoting Asian football among the public,’ Ono continued. AFC President Mohamed bin Hammam explained that Ono was the only proper candidate for the honour. ‘Shinji is the perfect winner due to his fantastic displays in European football, with which he helped Feyenoord win the UEFA Cup. That was a great performance for an Asian player, who is also a constant value for his team. Ono also played a big role in Japan’s good performance in the World Cup, something that pleased not only Japanese fans, but really all Asian fans. So we greatly appreciate his talent.’
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