5 Asian FIFA World Cup Heroes  | Football News | FIFA World Cup 2022

23:22 | 01/04/2020

Kuala Lumpur: Over the years a number of Asian players have produced the goods at the FIFA World Cup, lighting up arenas around the globe and providing incredible moments that have gone down in the Continent’s footballing folklore. 

Kuala Lumpur: Over the years a number of Asian players have produced the goods at the FIFA World Cup, lighting up arenas around the globe and providing incredible moments that have gone down in the Continent’s footballing folklore. 


With March's Asian Qualifiers postponed until later in the year, we turn back the clock to highlight the achievements of five Asian players who have shone brightest on the global showpiece.

You can tell us who you think is the best Asian player at the FIFA World Cup by voting at the bottom of the article. The winner will be chosen by a panel of experts combined with the results of the public vote.

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Park Ji-sung (Korea Republic)
Appearances: 2002, 2006, 2010
Goals: 3

One of Korea Republic’s most successful and recognisable players of all time, Park Ji-sung first gained global recognition as a constant source of energy down the right at the 2002 FIFA World Cup hosted in the midfielder’s homeland.

The then 21-year-old’s finest individual moment came in the final Group D game against Portugal when, scoreless with 20 minutes to play, Park controlled Lee Young-pyo’s deep cross on his chest, took another touch and then half-volleyed under Vitor Baia to secure a stunning 1-0 win and a first-ever knockout round appearance.

Better was to come for Korea Republic as the East Asians eliminated Italy and Spain – with Park scoring in the penalty shootout against the latter – to become the first and, to date, only Asian team to reach the semi-finals, before ultimately losing to Germany.

Park went on to score in a 1-1 draw against France in the 2006 edition and again in a win over Greece in 2010, when the Taeguk Warriors qualified for the last 16 for the second time, with Park skippering the side in what was his final FIFA World Cup appearance.

Honourable mentions: Hong Myung-bo, Ahn Jung-hwan, Son Heung-min


Sami Al Jaber (Saudi Arabia)
Appearances: 1994, 1998, 2002, 2006
Goals: 3

Arguably Saudi Arabia’s greatest player of all time, Sami Al Jaber featured in four FIFA World Cups between the West Asian country’s competition debut in 1994 and 2006.

The Al Hilal youngster’s early penalty set Saudi Arabia on the way to their maiden FIFA World Cup victory, against Morocco in USA 1994, before the Green Falcons defeated Belgium to advance at the first time of asking.


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