From South Korea’s surge to the 2002 World Cup semi finals on home soil, to Japan’s victory at the 2011 Women’s World Cup, Asia has a proud footballing past.

As a result, the continent has produced a selection of top class footballing talent down the years who have graced the pitch in Asia and beyond.

Let’s take a look at the greatest male Asian footballers of all time.

Okazaki is a Premier League champion with Leicester
Okazaki is a Premier League champion with Leicester | Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

19. Saeed Al-Owairan

In his fifth decade as a professional footballer, Miura is still going strong
In his fifth decade as a professional footballer, Miura is still going strong | Koji Watanabe/Getty Images

17. Abdullah Majed

— AFC (@theafcdotcom) November 1, 2020

— AFC (@theafcdotcom) October 23, 2020

15. Younis Mahmoud

Mahmoud inspired Iraq to their finest footballing triumph
Mahmoud inspired Iraq to their finest footballing triumph | SAEED KHAN/Getty Images
Nekounam is an Iranian great
Nekounam is an Iranian great | Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images

13. Sami Al-Jaber

Sami Al Jaber
Al-Jaber is a Saudi Arabian icon | Mike Hewitt/Getty Images
Mehdi Mahdavikia
Mahdavikia spent a decade in the Bundesliga | Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

11. Ali Daei

Daei is an Asian footballing icon
Daei is an Asian footballing icon | Stu Forster/Getty Images
Kagawa is considered one of Japan's finest
Kagawa is considered one of Japan’s finest | Masashi Hara/Getty Images

9. Shunsuke Nakamura

Celtic's Shunsuke Nakamara complains aft
Nakamara spent eight years in Europe, half of which were with Celtic | PAUL ELLIS/Getty Images
Hong Myung-bo is one of his country's all-time greats
Hong Myung-bo is one of his country’s all-time greats | ROBERTO SCHMIDT/Getty Images

7. Kim Joo-sung

Kim Joo-Sung and his trademark locks
Kim Joo-Sung and his trademark locks | Getty Images/Getty Images
Hidetoshi Nakata, Kaka
Nakata made 77 appearances for Japan | Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

5. Keisuke Honda

Honda was Japan's talisman
Honda was Japan’s talisman | Carl Court/Getty Images
Park Ji-sung is a Manchester United favourite
Park Ji-sung is a Manchester United favourite | Alex Livesey/Getty Images

3. Son Heung-min

Everybody loves Son
Everybody loves Son | James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images

Congrats to Messi who surpassed this man, Paulino Alcantara to become the all-time leading scorer of F.C. Barcelona. pic.twitter.com/rfM1jUhBWS

— The Antique Football (@AntiqueFootball) March 16, 2014

1. Cha Bum-kun

Cha Bum-kun was born in 1953 in Gyeonggi, Korea. He played in Germany ?? during 10 years (1979-89), scored 98 goals in 308 matches all. He won 2 UEFA Cup trophies with Eintracht Frankfurt and Bayer Leverkusen. He is really a Korean football icon! ? #Respect pic.twitter.com/q123sY8KPC

— Football Facts & News (@hoainamdo101) February 14, 2020

The greatest Asian footballers of all time – ranked
Source:
Source 1

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