Kuala Lumpur: Nineteen trophies speak for themselves. And the exceptional career kicked-off at the turn of the century when Kyoto Purple Sanga signed a relatively unknown 19-year-old who had been playing university football in his native Korea Republic. Within two years, he was a member of the national team that took fourth place at the FIFA World Cup under the guidance of Guus Hiddink.
A year after that, the Dutch coach persuaded him to follow his footsteps to PSV Eindhoven, where his performances prompted Sir Alex Ferguson to recruit him in 2005. During seven seasons at Manchester United, he became the first Asian footballer to play UEFA Champions League finals – though two defeats by Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona signified a bittersweet experience.
Expert’s View: Asia’s Greatest English Premier League Players
Kuala Lumpur: Fans have voted in their tens of thousands for their favourite Asian export to Germany, but now it's time to look at the Continental pioneers who shone in arguably the world's most popular league: the English Premier League.
To help us get more of an insight into the impact these famous Asian players have had, we enlisted the expert opinion of Dominic Fifield, Senior Writer at The Athletic, who previously spent 20 years covering English football at The Guardian newspaper.
So, just who is Asia’s greatest Premier League player? Fifield gives us his perspective.
Kuala Lumpur: Over the last few months, we have looked at some of the best goals of the AFC Champions League. Now it's the turn of the AFC Cup to have the spotlight shone on some of its best moments.
Kicking off the AFC Cup's version of the '5 of the Best' series, we begin with one of our most popular categories: free-kicks. Curlers, rockets and long-range efforts - enjoy these superb set-pieces and then select your favourite by voting at the bottom of the article.
Kuala Lumpur: After Asia’s football fans spent much of the past two weekends debating the merits of the continent’s finest Bundesliga and Premier League players, our focus this week turns to the players who made an impact in the Italian game.
To help us examine the contenders in our Asia’s Greatest Serie A Players poll, we’ve enlisted Cesare Polenghi, an Italian born and raised, Japan-based football columnist and pundit, and the former Managing Editor of Goal Asia.
Born to entertain: The unique story behind the rise of Kyrgyz Republic's Alykulov
Almaty: An international debutant at 18, his country’s Player of the Year six months later and a high-profile arrival at one of the region’s big clubs in the new year – Gulzhigit Alykulov’s life has been moving as quickly as his feet.
But while his surge to prominence in international football has been rapid, the truth is the Kyrgyz Republic youngster has never been far away from the spotlight.
Talking exclusively with the-AFC.com, one of the rising stars of Central Asian football discusses his meteoric rise, earning the approval of Andrey Arshavin and the pivotal role played by his well-known family.