Japan has two candidates among five finalists for the AFC's Player of the Year Award, as Yasuhito Endo returns for a second chance at the region's coveted title, the confederation announced on Thursday.
Endo, of Gamba Osaka, and fellow Japanese Kengo Nakamura, of Kawasaki Frontale, will compete for the award with Bahrain's Mohamed Sayed Adnan, of Al Khor, Iran's Hadi Aghily, of Sepahan, and Syria's Firas Al Khatib, of Al Qadsiya, the Asian Football Confederation said.
Endo is the only candidate of the five who has been nominated before, when he qualified in 2008.
"The magnificent five have been in the thick of AFC and FIFA competitive action throughout the year and make the cut because of the Most Valuable Player points they amassed in these outings," the AFC said.
Server Djeparov, of Bunyodkor and Uzbekistan, is the reigning AFC Player of the Year.
The award, along with 17 others, will be handed out at the AFC's Annual Awards in Kuala Lumpur on 24 November.