Football in Asian Subcontinent is not followed with the same intensity and passion as is loved in the European and South American Countries. Despite the considerable difference between the performance and athleticism level, many Asian footballers made their presence felt among the world’s best players. Here are the 5 Asian players who rose to prominence in recent years.
Ji-sung is one of the finest Asian footballers of his generation. The former South Korea International has been a vital part of the illustrious Manchester United squad of 2008/09 season, which had the likes of Wayne Rooney, Cristiano Ronaldo, Paul Scholes, and many other legends.
After signing from PSV Eindhoven for a reported fee of £6.57m back in the year 2005, the former Asian footballer of the year went on to win 4 Premier Leagues, 1 UEFA Champions League in 204 appearances scoring 28 goals, and assisting 29 times under Sir Alex Ferguson. He left The Red Devils in 2012 for Queens Park Rangers. T
The Japanese midfielder made his name in the footballing world by featuring in big European teams like Manchester United and Borussia Dortmund. He was a fan’s favorite figure during his two-year stint at Old Trafford. The Japanese International won a Premier League title and a Community Shield with The Red Devils, where he made 57 appearances in all competitions and was directly involved in 16 goals.
Kagawa had the best time of his career with The German club, Borussia Dortmund winning 2 Bundesliga titles and 2 DFB-Pokal titles. In 216 appearances, he scored 60 goals and assisted 55 times in 7 years long career in The German First Division.
For his National side, he has featured in 97 games with 31 goals to his name since his debut in May 2008. The 31-year-old currently plays in Spanish Division 2 League with Real Zaragoza.
The 28-year-old winger has been one of the most prominent players in the world and has also been one of the best Asian footballers ever. Although he hasn’t won any major silverware apart from a gold medal in the 2018 Asian Games, he has established himself as one of the deadliest finishers in today’s game.
One of the most exciting and unexpected events of this decade has been Leicester City winning The Premier League in the 2015-16 season. The Japanese has had a vital role in helping The Foxes win the Championship, helping them avoid relegation the following season and then win their maiden league title in their history.
Keisuke Honda has been one of the most influential players for Japan in recent times. The one time Japanese player of the year mostly played for The Russian club CSKA Moscow and Italian giants AC Milan. He went on to play 128 matches for the former, scoring 28 goals and assisting 29 times and playing 92 times and netting 11 goals and assisting 16 times for the latter.
The 34-year-old has played 98 times for The Japanese National Football Team, scoring 37 goals. The attacking midfielder currently plays for Football Club Botafogo in Seria A (Brazillian Top Tier).