Spring has returned to much of Asia and so has the Football Tribe Asia XI, which is back for April 2018!
Staff from across our network of 10 editions nominated players from their local leagues who excelled in the month of April, with domestic and continental leagues in full swing.
Who made our final list of 11 players and 7 substitutes, and which player did we select as our Asian Player of the Month? Click through to find out!
Goalkeeper: Takuto Hayashi (Sanfrecce Hiroshima)
The 35-year-old graces our Best XI for a second straight month after an incredible April in which he earned four clean sheets and five wins from six J1 matches. Sanfrecce Hiroshima currently boast the league’s best defense, having surrendered just five goals in 12 matches in no small part thanks to Hayashi’s regular big saves.
Defender: Ji Xiang (Jiangsu Suning)
One-club man Xiang continues to excel for Jiangsu Suning in the Chinese Super League, contributing to the team’s 3-1-1 record in April on both offense and defense. The 28-year-old had a standout performance in his team’s 5-1 win against Shanghai Shenhua, scoring one goal and assisting three more.
Defender: Pejman Montazeri (Esteghlal)
The veteran defender has been one of Esteghlal’s key players in second half of the season. Montazeri is a true leader and helped his side earn three victories and one draw in last four matches of the season, finishing the Persian Gulf Pro League in third place despite a stuttering start to the campaign.
Defender: Kim Min-jae (Jeonbuk Motors)
The 21-year-old’s bravery and experience defy his age, and the 2017 K League Best Young Player was instrumental in Jeonbuk’s flawless April in which they won six matches with no goals allowed.
Kim’s performance in Jeonbuk’s 4-0 win against then-undefeated Gyeongnam FC in the K1’s sixth round could be an early defining moment in the team’s campaign.
Midfielder: Tristan Do (Muangthong United)
The War Elephant defender has flourished after transitioning from right back to attacking midfielder for Muangthong United.
Following the switch, 25-year-old Tristan scored in four straight matches and recorded an additional assist as Muangthong enjoyed an unbeaten 1-5-0 Thai League 1 record in April.
Midfielder: Do Hung Dung (Hanoi FC)
In five appearances for Hanoi FC in April, Do Hung Dung was the most important player in the side. The 24-year-old midfielder was deeply involved in the team’s attack, recording one goal to keep Hanoi in first place in the V-League as well as propelling them to the quarterfinals of the National Football Cup.
Midfielder: Lee Chang-min (Jeju United)
One of the 2017 K League’s best midfielders has not seen his form drop off in 2018, with two goals scored in April as Jeju accumulated a 4-1-1 record.
In particular, Lee’s dribbling goal against Jeonnam Dragons on April 11 delighted the traveling fans at Gwangyang Stadium.
Midfielder: Riley McGree (Newcastle Jets)
The 19-year-old midfielder, who is on loan to the A-League outfit from Belgium’s Club Brugge, had an April to remember. Two weeks after contributing a hat-trick in an 8-2 demolishing of Central Coast Mariners, McGree delivered the scorpion kick seen around the world in the Jets’ A-League Semi Final against Melbourne City.
Attacker: Riko Simanjuntak
Riko didn’t find the back of the net for Persija Jakarta in April, but his work is not to be underestimated. The winger recorded six assists for the Liga Indonesia side, including five in two key AFC Cup matches against Johor Darul Ta’zim and Tampines Rovers.
ASIA PLAYER OF THE MONTH
Attacker: Diego Oliveira (FC Tokyo)
On loan this season from Kashiwa Reysol, the Brazilian scored seven goals from six April matches, including two from the penalty spot, to jump to the top of the J1’s scoring table.
Oliveira has teamed up with Kensuke Nagai to form one of the most explosive partnerships in the league, boosting FC Tokyo to second place behind current leaders Sanfrecce Hiroshima.
Attacker: Nicolas ‘Miku’ Fedor (Bengaluru FC)
The Venezuelan scored five goals in the Hero Super Cup, including an incredible hat-trick against Mohun Bagan in the semi-final.
With his clinical finishing and deadly partnership up front with Sunil Chhetri, the player known affectionately as Miku was a nightmare for opponents and deservedly received MVP honours for the tournament.
GK – Nguyen Tuan Manh (Sanna Khanh Hoa)
DF – Akito Fukumori (Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo)
MF – Yosuke Kashiwagi (Urawa Reds)
MF – Jin Jingdao (Shandong Luneng)
MF – Terry Antonis (Melbourne Victory)
FW – Patrick Cruz (Pahang)
FW – Marcus Berg (Al-Ain)