Honda won the accolade for the first time after collecting 75 of the 202 votes cast nationwide.
Nagoya Grampus goalkeeper and 2010 J-League Player of the Year Seigo Narazaki was second with 33 and Borussia Dortmund midfielder Shinji Kagawa third with 22 alongside Grampus’ World Cup defender Marcus Tulio Tanaka.
Honda was included in the 2011 AFC Asian Cup by coach Alberto Zaccheroni. In the game against Syria he scored a penalty kick making the score 2–1, for Japan. He earned player of the match for that game. In the semi-finals against Korea Republic, he shot a penalty kick, but was blocked by Jung Sung-Ryong. But in the penalty shoot outs of that game, he scored. Again he earned player of the match.
Honda was awarded the most valuable player of the 2011 AFC Asian Cup.