For the second year in a row, here at Football Channel Asia, we will track 100 Asian football players playing in the Europe. From Japan, South Korea and North Korea and China, all the way to Iran, Jordan, and Uzbekistan, Asian players have moved to Europe to advance their football career at football hubs in Europe.
Out of 100 Asian players, many play in second division leagues in European countries, or top-flight leagues in Poland, Greece, and Austria which are not considered elite football leagues. At Football Channel Asia, we focused on 70 Asian players who currently play in top European leagues of England, Spain, Germany, Italy, France, Netherlands, Russia, Belgium, Switzerland and Portugal.
The criteria are to select players who play in the top division of leagues above. We have been tracking 70 players from the beginning of the season, here are top 5 Asian players in elite football leagues based on performance and ratings. Players’ ranking take into consideration important stats such as the number of goals scored, assists, their Pass Accuracy Ratio % and their rating*.
Sorted by highest Rating:
1.Shinji Kagawa: The 27-year-old Japanese attacking midfielder was featured once for Borussia Dortmund in November, but he was influential in Borussia Dortmund’s key Champions League match. In an entertaining 8-4 win over Polish side Legia Warszawa, Kagawa netted 2 goals and provided 1 assist. Because of his outstanding match, he was rated 9.37 out of 10, higher than all other Asian players in Europe in November.
2. Vitali Denisov: The 29-year-old Uzbekistan players is plying his trade at Russian Premier League’s Lokomotiv Moscow. Playing in defense, he was featured in two games for Lokomotiv in November. He helped his team to earn a victory and a draw, earning the rating of 7.88 out of 10. Therefore, he is the runner-up among best performing Asian players of November.
3. Mathew Leckie: The 25-year-old Aussie attacking midfielder had a much better month in November compared to October. Featuring in 3 games for Bundesliga side Ingolstadt, he earned 4 points with his team in November. His rating improved to 7.69 out of 10.
4.Sardar Azmoun: The Iranian forward playing for Russian club FC Rostov, and was instrumental for his team in November, especially in the Champions League games. He netted 4 goals and provided 1 assist – two of which were against elite teams Atletico Madrid and Bayern Munich. With these records, he earned 7.66 points out of 10.
5. Craig Goodwin The 24-year-old Australian attacking midfielder is currently plying his trade in Dutch club Sparta Rotterdam. In November, he played in 3 games, scoring 1 goal and 1 assist and earned Man of the Match honor in their victory over SC Heerenveen. His rating was 7.53 out of 10.
Top 10 best Asian players in November
1. Shinji Kagawa (Dortmund/Japan) 9.37
2. Vitali Denisov (Lokomotiv Moscow/Uzbekistan) 7.88
3. Mathew Leckie (FC Ingolstadt 04/Australia) 7.69
4. Sardar Azmoun (FC Rostov/Iran) 7.66
5. Craig Goodwin (Sparta Rotterdam/Australia) 7.53
6. Milad Mohammadi (Terek Grozny/Iran) 7.35
7. Alireza Jahanbaksh (AZ Alkmaar/Iran) 7.31
8. Hiroki Sakai (Marseille/Japan) 7.17
9. Kenneth Dougall (Sparta Rotterdam/Australia) 7.13
10. Ji Dong-Won (FC Augsburg/South Korea) 7.12
*Source of Ratings: whoscored.com