Asian Footballers are dominating the “beautiful game” by a sizeable margin these days. They are not just restricted to playing in local clubs, but they have also made their presence felt in the most famous clubs in the world as well. We would be taking a peek into some of the highest-paid Asian footballers on this list.
Highest Paid Asian Footballers
Let us take a look into some of the top paid Asian footballers in the world,
1. Park Ji-sung
Park is one of the best Asian footballers to ever exist in this world. He hails from South Korea and has taken retirement from the professional sport on 14th May 2014. He played as a midfielder for many renowned clubs including Manchester United, Queens Park Rangers, and so on. Park Ji-sung is currently serving as the ambassador for Manchester United. He was a part of the South Korean national team for 11 years and has scored 13 goals in 100 appearances.
2. Shinji Kagawa
Shinji Kagawa is a Japanese pro-footballer and plays as a midfielder for the national team and clubs alike. He is one of the highest-paid Asian footballers in the world. Shinji was a part of many great clubs including Borussia Dortmund, Manchester United, and so on. He is also part of the Japanese national team since 2008 and has scored 31 goals in 97 appearances. Shinji was named Asian Football Confederation International Player of the Year in 2012.
3. Keisuke Honda
Keisuke comes under the list of one of the most inventive Asian footballers and is also a legend in the Japanese national football team. He was part of the national team for 10 years and as an attacking midfielder, he scored 37 goals in 98 appearances for the country. He is currently managing the national football team of Cambodia since 2018 and has gained over 90 international caps in his career.
4. Hidetoshi Nakata
Hidetoshi Nakata is one of the top Asian footballers who played for Japan and numerous other clubs. He played as a midfielder and was a part of many clubs including Roma, Parma, Fiorentina, and so on. He was part of the Under-17, Under-20, Under-23, and the national team of Japan and has scored 22 goals in 107 appearances in all of these categories combined. Legendary footballer Pele named Hidetoshi as his pick in the FIFA 100 IN 2004.
5. Tim Cahill
Tim Cahill hails from Sydney, Australia, and is one of the best Asian footballers in the world. Cahill primarily played as a striker and he played as an attacking midfielder for his clubs and the Australian national team. He played with Everton for 8 years and scored 56 goals in 226 appearances for the club. As part of the national team, he played 108 games and scored 50 goals marking him as a key player for the squad.
6. Shinji Okazaki
Shinji Okazaki is one of the top paid Asian footballers in the world. He played for Leicester City as a forward for 4 years amongst other clubs in his career. He is also part of the Japan national team and has scored 50 goals in 119 appearances for the country. Leicester City also won the Premier League in 2016 owing to his exploits.
7. Shunsuke Nakamura
Shunsuke plays as an attacking midfielder for his national team Japan and his current club Yokohama FC. He is the only Asian footballer who was named J.League Most Valuable Player twice, in 2000 and 2013. Owing to his amazing skills, he was nicknamed Andrea Pirlo of Japan. He has scored 24 goals in 98 appearances for his national team. He has scored 98 caps for the national football team and has also appeared in the finals in 2006 and 2010 in the FIFA World Cup.
8. Park Joo-ho
Park Joo-ho hails from Seoul, South Korea and he plays as a defender currently with Suwon FC and the national team of South Korea. He was also part of Borussia Dortmund where he played 7 games for them. For the national team, he made 40 appearances and scored a single goal for them. He was also part of the Under-20, and Under-23 squad for the national team and has made valuable contributions to them as well.
9. Omar Abdulrahman
Omar Abdulrahman is one of the top paid Asian footballers hailing from Riyadh, UAE. He plays as an attacking midfielder and played for notable Emirati clubs like Al-Ain, Al-Hilal, and Al Jazira. Currently, he is playing with Shabab-Al-Ahli. He is also a part of the UAE national team and has scored 74 goals in 11 appearances. In 2012-13, he was ranked in No. 39 from the list of 50 Best Players of the season.
10. Ali Al-Habsi
Ali Al-Habsi played as a goalkeeper for his national team Oman and has played for multiple local and international clubs alike. His most prolific stints were with Boston Wanderers, Wigan Athletic, and West Bromwich Albion. He announced his retirement from professional sports on 21st August 2020. Al-Habsi was always the first choice when it came to playing for his national team owing to his performances, making him a valuable addition to the team.
Asian Footballers have truly dominated the game and world of football and this will rise in the years to come. There would also come a possibility in the not-so-distant future where these top Asian footballers will be playing for the famous English clubs, a truly bright future indeed for these young guns.