|South Korea 2002|
This is my 23-member all-time team for East Asia.While football in East Asia is not considered strong in the world, they have made some achievements in the world. North Korea made a dream run in 1966 when they beat Italy and played one of the most dramatic matches in WC history against Portugal. Japan and South Korea made miracle runs at the WC in 2002 with South Korea reaching the semifinal.
I have also create other Asian teams: Australia, West and Central Asia, Saudi Arabia, Iran, China, Japan and South Korea
|North Korea 1966|
GK: Lee Woon-Jae (South Korea)
He was a part of four World Cup Finals. His best tournament was in 2002 where South Korea reached the semifinal and he was inspirational as he saved a penalty in the penalty shootout of the quarterfinal vs Spain.
GK: Choi In-young (South Korea)
Choi played mostly for Ulsan Hyundai Horang-i. He earned 51 caps. He was the starting goalkeeper at WC Finals in 1990 and 1994.
GK: Chow Chee Keong (Malaysia)
Chow was a Malaysian Chinese. He earned his first senior cap as a 15 years old. From 1966 to 1970, he was voted the best keeper in Asia for 5 straight seasons. In 1970, he went to play in the Hong Kong league, which was the only professional league in East Asia. He was the AFC Goalkeeper of the Century.
RB: Atsuto Uchida (Japan)
Uchida played with Kashima Anthlers before joining Schalke 04 in 2010. He has been playing for Schalke 04 for the past 5 seasons. He was on the Bundesliga team of the Year for 2012-2013. He went to both WC Finals in 2010 and 2014.
RB: Sun Jihai (China)
He joined Crystal Palace with teannate Fan Zhiyi in 1999 and became the first Chinese national to play in England. In 2002, he made a big move to Manchester City where he spent 7 seasons and became a regular starter for his first three seasons. However, he suffered an injury in his fourth season. He spent the rest of his career in and out of the lineup. He represented China at the WC Finals in 2002.
CB: Jia Xiuquan (China)
He was the Chinese captain from 1987 to 1992. In 1984, he won the MVP award at the Asian Cup. He joined FK Partizan in 1987 becoming one of the first Chinese to play in Europe. He played club football with Baiyi. He later played in Malaysia and Japan. He played for Gamba Osaka during J-League's inaugural season.
CB: Masami Ihara (Japan)
He was the Asian player of the Year in 1995. He led Japan to its first ever World Cup in 1998. He was a star in the J-League throughout the 1990's. He spent most of his career with Yokohama Marinos. Later, Ihara played for Jublio Iwata and Urawa Reds.
CB: Fan Zhiyi (China)
He was the Asian Player of the Year in 2002. He captained China as it reached the WC Finals for the first time in 2002. He played three seasons for Crystal Palace and became a captain there. At home, he played mainly for clubs in Shanghai, notably with Shanghai Shenhua. He had a stint playing for Rangers in Hong Kong.
CB: Hong Myung-bo (South Korea)
He is the all-time cap record holder for South Korea. He played in 4 WC Finals. In 2002, he captained South Korea to reach the WC semifinal. He won the Bronze Ball at the WC Finals. He is probably the greatest defender in Asian history. He played for clubs in Korea, Japan and the United States.
He enjoyed one of the most successful career for an Asian playing in Europe. He was a starter with PSV Eindhoven and Tottenham Hotspurs. He played 127 caps for South Korea.
LB: Yuto Nagatomo (Japan)
He started his career with FC Tokyo. He is known for his offensive skills. He joined Cesena in 2010. Since 2011, he was a starter with Inter Milan. He can also play as a rightback. He played in the WC Finals in 2010 and 2014.
CM: Kim Joo Sung (South Korea)
From 1988 to 1990, he won three straight Asian Player of the Year. he was known for his long hair during his career. He played in three WC Finals. He played for Chosun University and Busan Daewoo Royalsat home. Later, he spent two seasons with Vfl Bochum.
CM: Yasuhiko Okudera (Japan)
When soccer was still an amatuer sport in Japan, he made his way to Germany. He played with FC Klon and Werder Bremen in the 1980's.
RW/LW: Park Ji-Sung (South Korea)
He is the most decorated Asian footballer in history, as the first Asian footballer to have won the UEFA Champions League trophy, the first Asian footballer to play in a UEFA Champions League Final, as well as the first Asian footballer to have won the FIFA Club World Cup. He spent 7 seasons with Manchester United.
AM: Shunsuke Nakamura (Japan)
He was a star player at Celtics. He won the SPF Player of the year and SFWA Player of the Year in 2007. Before that, he played with Reggina in Serie A. He played in three WC Finals, but he was not selected for the WC in 2002.
AM: Hidetoshi Nakata (Japan)
Nakata was the first Japanese player who reached stardom in Italy. He scored 10 goals in his first season with Perugia. He had a successful substitute role with Roma, but he never settled down with Parma, Fiorentina and Bologna. He later went to play in England. He retired at age of 29.
AM: Keisuke Honda (Japan)
He is the current star of the Japanese national team. He played in Holland and Russia before making a dream move to AC Milan in 2014. He played in two WC Finals: 2010 and 2014.
FW: Hwang Sun-Hong (South Korea)
He was one of the most important Korean player between 1988 and 2002. He spent most of his career in Japan and South Korea., but had a brief spell with Wuppertaler SV in Germany.
FW: Kazuyoshi Miura (Japan)
He became the first Japanese footballer to play in Italy, joining Genoa for 1994-1995. He was the Asian Player of the Year in 1993. Despite being the best Japanese player in the 1990's, he never played in the WC Finals. He was not selected for the WC in 1998.
FW: Lee Wei Tong (Republic of China/Hong Kong)
He was born in Hong Kong, but elected to play for the Republic of China. He went to play in 1936 Olympics, where he made a strong impression. At home, he predominantly played for South China and helped establish the club in being the most successful team in Hong Kong history.
FW: Pak Doo-ik (North Korea)
He scored the winning goal vs Italy in the 1966 WC Finals. He was the star of North Korea's run in that WC Finals. His football career outside of the WC Finals is unknown.
ST: Cha Bum Kun (South Korea)
He was the greatest Asian player in the modern era. He won two UEFA Cups, one each for Eintracht Frankfurt and Bayer Leverkusen. He was widely considered one of the best forwards in the Bundesliga throughout his career. He became the third-highest-paid footballer in Germany.
|Cha Bum Kun|
ST: Paulino Alcántara (the Philippines)
Born in the Philippines of a half-Spanish, half-Filipino, he made his debut for Barcelona at the age of 15 and remains the youngest player to play or score for the club. He also scored 100 goals in 69 matches, making him the club's highest goalscorer He was selected for the Philippine national football team in 1917 and represented his country at the Far Eastern Championship Games. In 1921. he was selected to play for Spain. he scored 6 goals in 5 games for Spain.
- I tried to include older players. Chow Chee Keong was relatively unknown from the 1980's onward.
- I do not have much information about Pak Doo-ik, but he had done more for Asian football for the few games he played at the WC Finals in 1966 than anyone else. I rewarded him with a spot on the team.
- Shinji Kagawa was dropped because he had not played a lot of first team football in the last few years while there are many Asian players making impacts around the world. If he regained his form at Borussia Dortmund, he would be a lock for my next all-time team. Instead, I selected Hwang Sun-Hong and Kazuyoshi Miura who had been stars for over a decade in Asia.
Both Nagatomo and Lee Young-Pyo are almost the same level. I can start either of them. I prefer a midfield of Honda and Nakamura. So I push Nakata to the right-side. Paulino Alcantara, Cha Bum Kun and ark Ji-Sung are the best Asian players in history.