Syrian rise in the Asian football has nothing less than a fairytale. The rise of a war-torn country into a football powerhouse in Asia will be remembered for a very long time. The Syrian were close to qualifying for the World Cup 2018 before crashing out after a heartbreaking defeat against Australians.
They will not be part of the mega event in Russia but there is something they can cheer as their star forward Omar Khribin won the Asian footballer of the year award. Omar Kharbin was excellent for his nation and club in 2017 scoring at fun.
Born and brought up the capital of Syria, Damascus, Khribin joined Al-Wahda youth team. The talented forward graduated through the ranks of the Al-Wahda before moving to Iraq giants Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya. After a consitent performance in Iraq top division first with Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya and than Al Mina, Kharbin moved to UAE top division club Al-Dharfa. His heroics performance with Al-Dharfa in UAE top division helped him earned a contract in one of the best league in Asia, Saudi Professional League.
Fairytale 2017 for Omar Kharbin
He initially moved to Al-Hilal on loan in Saudi Professional League. The move turned out to be a life-changing decision for the Syrian forward. His consistent performances on loan made Al-Hilal sign him for 44 million riyals four-year contract. Omar Kharbin blossomed into one of the finest striker in Asia at Al-Hilal. 2017 Asian Champions League was a major event in helping Omar win Asian player award. The Syrian was the top goal scorer in biggest club football tournament in Asia which helped Al-Hilal reach the finals.
Even though Al-Hilal fell short of winning the Asian Champions League, Omar Kharbin fantastic year with the club and Syrian national team earned him the award. The 23-year-old forward is the first Syrian to win Asian player of the year award.