Wednesday, 24 Jul 2024

The 15 Greatest Asian Soccer Players of All Time

Asian Soccer Player

Asian soccer may not always receive the recognition it deserves, but there have been some exceptional players from the region throughout history. The Asian Football Federation covers five regions and consists of 47 countries, each with its own rich soccer history. In this article, we will explore the achievements and impact of the 15 greatest Asian soccer players of all time.

15. Mohamed Al-Deayea

Mohamed Al-Deayea

Mohamed Al-Deayea, a Saudi Arabian international goalkeeper, holds the record for a staggering 173 caps for his country. With four World Cup appearances, Al-Deayea’s international experience is unparalleled. He played for Al-Ta’ee and Al-Hilal, earning a testimonial match against Juventus where 70,000 fans paid tribute to his illustrious career.

14. Saeed Al-Owairan

Saeed Al-Owairan

Saeed Al-Owairan, another Saudi Arabian legend, was an attacking midfielder known for his phenomenal goal-scoring ability. He spent his entire career at Al-Shabab, scoring 238 league goals in 588 appearances. Al-Owairan’s most memorable moment came in the 1994 World Cup when he scored a remarkable goal against Belgium, propelling Saudi Arabia to the second round and earning him the Asian Soccer Player of the Year award.

13. Cha Bum-Kun

Cha Bum-Kun

Cha Bum-Kun, a South Korean striker, made history by becoming one of the first Asian players to play in Germany. He had successful spells at Darmstadt, Eintracht Frankfurt, and Bayer Leverkusen. Despite facing challenges due to his military career, Bum-Kun showcased his skills and scored 98 league goals in 308 appearances in Germany.

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12. Keisuke Honda

Keisuke Honda

Keisuke Honda, a Japanese midfielder, made a name for himself by playing for clubs like AC Milan and CSKA Moscow. With 98 international caps and three league championships under his belt, Honda’s career has been illustrious. Although he hasn’t retired yet, Honda took on the role of manager for Cambodia in 2018. Despite some challenges, his intelligence and talent as a midfielder are undeniable.

11. Shinji Okazaki

Shinji Okazaki

Shinji Okazaki, a Japanese international striker, played a vital role in Leicester City’s historic Premier League title win in 2016. Throughout his career, Okazaki has played in Japan, Germany, England, Spain, and Belgium, showcasing his versatility. His 50 international goals and memorable overhead kick against Newcastle highlight his impact on the pitch.

10. Yuto Nagatomo

Yuto Nagatomo

Yuto Nagatomo, another Japanese international, has had an excellent career as a full-back for teams like Marseille, Inter Milan, FC Tokyo, and Galatasaray. Known for his versatility and consistent performances, Nagatomo has earned 137 international caps and is currently in his 15th season as a professional player.

9. Hong Myung-Bo

Hong Myung-Bo

Hong Myung-Bo, widely regarded as one of the best South Korean players of all time, played the majority of his career in Korea and Japan. Known for his leadership and defensive skills, Myung-Bo played a pivotal role in the World Cup, becoming the first Asian player to play in four consecutive tournaments.

8. Tim Cahill

Tim Cahill

Tim Cahill, an Australian attacking midfielder, is considered one of the best players from his country. With over 600 league appearances and 150 goals, Cahill’s tenacity and goal-scoring ability left a lasting impact. He represented Australia in 108 international matches, scoring 50 goals.

7. Ali Karimi

Ali Karimi

Ali Karimi, often referred to as the “Asian Maradona,” was known for his exceptional dribbling skills and passing ability. He played for several teams, including Bayern Munich, and made 127 international appearances for Iran, scoring 38 goals. Karimi’s contribution to Asian soccer cannot be understated.

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6. Majed Abdullah

Majed Abdullah

Majed Abdullah, a Saudi Arabian striker, established himself as one of the best center forwards in Asian soccer. With 189 goals in 194 league appearances for Al-Nassr, Abdullah’s scoring record is remarkable. His impact on both the club and international stage is a testament to his skill and longevity.

5. Shunsuke Nakamura

Shunsuke Nakamura

Shunsuke Nakamura, a Japanese midfielder, had a successful career playing for clubs in Scotland, Spain, and Japan. Known for his creative playmaking and passing skills, Nakamura won multiple league titles and was named the J League’s Most Valuable Player twice. His longevity and contributions to his teams are recognized both domestically and internationally.

4. Ali Daei

Ali Daei

Ali Daei, an Iranian striker, held the record for the most international goals until Cristiano Ronaldo surpassed him. Daei’s prolific goal-scoring ability and 20-year career made him a legend in Iranian soccer. He played for notable clubs like Bayern Munich and finished his career with 109 goals in 149 appearances for Iran.

3. Hidetoshi Nakata

Hidetoshi Nakata

Hidetoshi Nakata, a Japanese attacking midfielder, was known for his incredible touch and playmaking abilities. He played for prestigious clubs like Perugia, Roma, Parma, and Fiorentina. Nakata’s contributions to Japanese soccer and his fashion-forward image made him a unique figure in the sport.

2. Park Ji-Sung

Park Ji-Sung

Park Ji-Sung, the most decorated Asian soccer player, achieved immense success playing for Manchester United and the South Korean national team. His work rate, endurance, and versatility made him a valuable asset to any team he played for. Park Ji-Sung’s trophy cabinet includes four Premier League titles, three League Cups, a Champions League, and a FIFA World Club Cup.

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1. Son Heung-min

Son Heung-min

Son Heung-min, a South Korean striker, is widely regarded as the best Asian soccer player currently competing. He began his professional career in the Bundesliga and eventually joined Tottenham Hotspur, where his exceptional movement and teamwork have made him a key player. With numerous goals and impressive performances, Son Heung-min’s reputation continues to grow, and he has the potential to become the greatest Asian soccer player of all time.


  • Q: Who is the most decorated Asian soccer player?
    A: Park Ji-Sung holds that distinction, with 19 trophies to his name.

  • Q: Who holds the record for the most international goals?
    A: Ali Daei held the record until Cristiano Ronaldo surpassed him.

  • Q: Which Asian soccer player has the most international caps?
    A: Mohamed Al-Deayea holds the record with an impressive 173 caps for Saudi Arabia.

  • Q: Who is the best Asian soccer player currently competing?
    A: Son Heung-min is widely recognized as the best Asian player performing at the highest level.


Asian soccer has produced some incredible talent throughout history. The 15 players mentioned in this article have left an indelible mark on the sport, both regionally and globally. From Saudi Arabian legends like Mohamed Al-Deayea and Majed Abdullah to Japanese stars like Keisuke Honda and Shinji Okazaki, each player has contributed to the growth and success of Asian soccer. With current stars like Son Heung-min leading the way, the future looks bright for Asian soccer on the global stage. Visit Movin993 to stay updated with the latest news and updates in the world of sports.