Football is the most popular sport in Asia. In recent years, its popularity has surged even higher, especially in countries of South East Asia including Thailand and Vietnam. With better exposure today, Asian footballers are now being appreciated all over the world.
The past few years have witnessed the tremendous growth of Asian football on the world stage. In what was fairly uncommon in the past, there are many Asian players playing in the top European clubs today.
Below, we take a look at the best Asian football players.
Son Heung-min (Tottenham and South Korea)
Son is currently the undisputed superstar of Asian Football. The Korean international and Tottenham Hotspur star has done things that no other Asian has managed. He has won the English Premier League (EPL) golden boot and is the top Asian goalscorer in both EPL and Champions League history. Son is considered a world-class player, thanks to his dynamic and intelligent play.
His influence is so great within his country and other Asian nations like Thailand, which even has an official Thailand Burapha Spurs Supporters Club in Bangkok. Furthermore, with his goalscoring records, betting on him to be the first goalscorer in games is popular with Thai’s.
There are comparison sites that offer Thais the best football betting sites (เว็บพนันบอลที่ดีที่สุด) which provide detailed analyses of EPL betting markets. These platforms also give accurate info on how to claim the best sportsbook bonuses and offer advice on betting legally.
Before playing at Spurs, Son previously played for European teams like Hamburger SV and Bayer Leverkusen. He has scored 35 goals in 103 appearances for South Korea and marked his third World Cup for his country in the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Akram Afif (Al-Sadd and Qatar)
Akram Afif is a Qatari player who plays for the Qatari club Al-Sadd. Earlier on in his career, he had a brief stint with La Liga side Villareal. Since his return to his homeland, he has risen to prominence in Asian football.
He played a pivotal role in Qatar’s triumph at the AFC Asian Cup in 2019. It was this same year he was named the Asian Footballer of the Year. He is arguably Qatar’s most important player going into the World Cup. He was also named in the team of the tournament in the 2021 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
Mehdi Taremi (FC Porto and Iran)
Taremi began his career as a striker at local clubs in Iran before moving to Portuguese club Rio Ave later in 2019. Currently, Mehdi Taremi plays for the Portuguese club, FC Porto where he has established himself as a prolific goal scorer, with 42 goals in 79 appearances.
At the international level, he has scored 32 goals in 63 appearances for the Iranian national team. He helped the nation qualify for two consecutive World Cups (2018 and 2022). He currently represents Iran at the 2022 World Cup.
Although plagued with political issues back home which seemed to affect the team at the start, they have made some impact in the competition. In their opening game loss to England, the Iranian players refused to sing the national anthem. The Iran coach defended his players who did not sing the national anthem. The team went ahead to win their second match against Wales.
Sardar Azmoun (Bayer Leverkusen and Iran)
One of Asia’s best football stars, Sardar Azmoun started playing for local teams in his native Iran. Convinced of his skills and ability, the Russian side Rubin Kazan offered him the opportunity to play in Europe.
At age 19, he was already sought after by top clubs like Arsenal, A.C. Milan, Juventus, Liverpool, Tottenham, and Barcelona. He eventually played for Zenit St. Petersburg, before moving to Bayer Leverkusen.
He has scored 41 goals in 67 appearances for the Iranian national team. He is also among those chosen to represent his nation at the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Hwang Hee-Chan (Wolves and South Korea)
In terms of ability, Hwang Hee-Chan ranks amongst the best Asian players. He started his career in his native Korea before joining RB Salzburg.
His amazing display in the Champions League against top European sides earned him a move to Salzburg. Hwang has scored 9 goals in 49 matches for South Korea.
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