Goulart named AFC Champions League MVP

Guangzhou Evergrande striker Ricardo Goulart had plenty of reason to celebrate on Saturday after he was named the AFC Champions League's Most Valuable Player of the Competition.

Guangzhou defeated Al Ahli 1-0 at Tianhe Sport Centre Stadium on Saturday to claim their second continental crown in three years, with Brazilian striker Elkeson scoring the only goal of the game.

After the match, Goulart was named as the tournament's best player, as well as taking home the top goal scorer award after finding the back of the net eight times in this year's competition.

The majority of Goulart's goals came early on, with the 24-year-old grabbing his first goal against FC Seoul in Guangzhou's opening match, before scoring a hat-trick against Western Sydney Wanderers in the second game week. He then added a brace against Kashima Antlers in his side's third match.

Goulart had to wait five matches before getting on the scoresheet once more, but he came to the fore at a crucial moment, scoring twice as Guangzhou overcame a first leg deficit to defeat Seongnam in the last 16.

That would be the last of the Brazilian's goals for the tournament, but he remained a constant menace throughout on Guangzhou's run to the title.

“I have to thank Guangzhou Evergrande for putting their trust in my qualities and abilities,” said Goulart.

“We have now won two trophies this year – the Chinese Super League and the AFC Champions League.”

He added: “Every success we enjoy matters, but significance of each one grows.

“I am very happy for myself and my family that I have managed to achieve this success.”

Al Ahli’s Ahmed Khalil and Yang Xu of Shandong Luneng finished second on the goal scoring charts with six goals each.