Since the AFF Championship began way back in 1996 there have only been 11 players that have won the tournament’s highest individual honour – that of the Most Valuable Player.

Of all the past winners, only Vietnam’s Nguyen Quang Hai will be competing at the AFF Mitsubishi Electric Cup 2022 so it’s possible that there will be a brand new name to add to that roll call of tournament MVPs.

So far, only players from Singapore (4), Thailand (3), Vietnam (3) and Malaysia (1) have won so there will be much interest across the region to see if a new star emerges from outside of that list.

With that in mind, we’ve assembled a list of possible MVP contenders from both the more fancied nations and one or two outsiders.


Jordi Amat (Indonesia)

The only player in the entire tournament that has regularly played against both Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo at club level, as well as having featured in the English Premier League, 30-year-old Jordi Amat will likely be a key to helping Indonesia finally break their record of disappointment at the AFF Championship.

It’s not often a defender wins the MVP award but if the newly naturalised Amat can quickly adjust to the Garuda set-up he should be an influential player in leading the charge to a long-awaited maiden title for Indonesia’s passionate fan base.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by PSSI (@pssi)

Ikhsan Fandi (Singapore)

The MVP award is one that often goes to creative or scoring threats and Singapore’s ace striker falls very much into that latter category.

Boasting a highly impressive record of better than a goal every two games, the 23-year-old will almost certainly be leading the line for a Lions side that are looking to build on their semi-final appearance at the previous edition. If they do so then the towering striker’s name should very much be in the MVP mix.

Lim Pisoth (Cambodia)

Perhaps an outside choice but if Cambodia are to rediscover their goalscoring ways after recent struggles then changes will need to come and one of those could well be the breakout star of Cambodian football in Lim Pisoth.

A winger or striker, the 21-year-old recovered from a serious injury to help guide his club side Phnom Penh Crown to the first title in the new-look Cambodian Premier League this year where he was named both in the Best XI and as the Best U-22 Player.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Lim Pisoth (@_limpisoth17)

Maung Maung Lwin (Myanmar)

As is the case with many other nations, Myanmar is very much a side in transition and with several experienced players having retired, much then will fall on the shoulders of the star midfielder/forward Maung Maung Lwin.

The 27-year-old is one of a handful of players to ply their trade abroad and if Myanmar are to progress deep into the tournament then his passing, vision and ability to open up opposition defences will surely be a key to their success.


Nguyen Quang Hai (Vietnam)

The only player at the AFF Mitsubishi Electric Cup to have previously been crowned MVP, Nguyen Quang Hai will be aiming to join Thai megastar Chanathip Songkrasin as the only two-time winner of the award.

Now featuring at club level in France, the 25-year-old playmaker should be an even more dangerous threat with that experience to add to his elite raw technical, passing and finishing skills and that’s a real treat for fans of Southeast Asian football.


Safawi Rasid (Malaysia)

One of the star names not just in Malaysian football but across the entire region, 25-year-old Safawi Rasid has more than double the caps of any other player in an inexperienced Malaysian squad.

That means that he’ll surely be relied upon to carry the hopes of the Harimau Malaya on his back, but with his outstanding close control, threat from set-piece situations and ability to both create and finish he’s more than capable of doing so.

Stephan Schrock (Philippines)

This is very much a new-look Azkals squad with only four players having more than 13 caps but the one constant is the tireless midfielder/forward Stephan Schrock.

In what will likely be his final tournament before he transitions into coaching, the 36-year-old will be charged with pulling the strings for the inexperienced Philippines side and if they are to succeed you get the feeling that their captain will be very much at the heart of things.


Teerasil Dangda (Thailand)

As he showed at the previous edition of the AFF Championship, Teerasil Dangda may be approaching the end of his storied career but he’s still as dangerous as ever.

It’s perhaps a little surprising that the four-time Golden Boot winner and overall leading scorer in the history of the tournament has yet to win the MVP award and he’ll be hoping to set that record straight this year.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by #AsianCup2023 (@afcasianc