Wed 14 July 2021 | 7:30

Best Asian players of 2021

Although Asian football has never been as entertaining as European one, but during recent years it has improved a lot and started to catch football fans eye due to the effort of it's managers and footballers.

In order to be the Asian Footballer of the Year, you have to qualify in many ways such as the ability to score goals and assist, skills, teamwork, and so on. Every year, the Best Footballer in Asia with the highest total score is chosen by AFC representatives and judges. Each judge selects 5 footballers and awards them 6, 4, 3, 2, and 1 point from their first choice to the fifth one. Trophy will be awarded to the player with the highest total of points.

In this article we are going to introduce you 11 players who are regarded as the Best Footballer in Asia 2021. Stay tuned and enjoy.

Who are the best Asian footballers in 2021?

We are going to have a review of the Best Asian Footballers 2021.

Amir Abedzadeh

  • Maritimo - Iran

The first name in our list of the

Best Asian players of 2021

is the Iranian goalkeeper, Amir Abedzadeh, Son of the legendary Iranian goalkeeper Ahmadreza Abedzadeh.

Abedzadeh started his youth career at Persepolis, the club his father played at, and then he moved to UK, playing with Brentford,




youth academies. And after some time The 28-year old didn’t get to the place he is today overnight as he never faltered despite the lack of game time and finally managed to make his professional debut for LA Blues in America.

After a season there he came back to Iran and spent some time with Persepolis and Rah Ahan clubs before going back to Europe in 2016. He joined Portugal’s Barreirense, a team in the lower leagues. But his performances there impressed Maritimo enough that the club decided to sign him a year later. Since then he has gradually made his way to Maritimo’s first team and is now the club’s No.1 goalkeeper.

Abedzade has registered 10 clean sheets in the 29 matches he has played for Maritimo this season, which makes his record the 4th best in the league. He is certainly one of the

Best Asian Footballers 2021

and has earned that title through hard work.

Takehiro Tomiyasu

  • Bologna – Japan

The next position in the list of the Best Asian players of 2021 belongs to the Japanese center-back, Takehiro Tomiyasu.The 22 Tomiyasu has become a regular at Bologna in Serie A.

Born on 5 November 1998 in Fukuoka, Japan, Tomiyasu started his youth career when he was just 11. In 2015 he joned Avispa Fukuoka and he continued his career with Sint-Truiden. after only a season with Sint-Truiden, He moved to Belgium in 2018 where he established himself as a star and was named Bologna’s Player of the Month in his first month of playing for the club.

At the international level, after playing with U16 and Japan U17, U18, U19, U20 and U21, Tomiyasu joined Japan national team in 2018. He has had 23 appearances for his country’s national team till now.

Ali Mabkhout

  • Al Jazira - United Arab Emirates 

Another Asian footballer on the list of the Best Asian players of 2021 is Ali Ahmed Mabkhout Mohsen Omaran Alhajeri, simply known as Ali Mabkhout.He is an Emirati footballer who has spent all his club career at


, scoring 165 goals in his 227 appearances for the club.

At the international level, Mabkhout has scored 76 goals in his 92 appearances for his country’s national team. During his professional career Mabkhout has won many trophies including UAE Pro League in 2010–11, 2016–17, 2020-21, UAE President's Cup in 2010–11, 2011–12, Etisalat Emirates Cup in 2009–10, GCC U-23 Championship in 2010, Asian Games silver medal in 2010, Arabian Gulf Cup in 2013, AFC Asian Cup third place in 2015, as well as  individual hnors including UAE Pro League top scorer in 2016–17, 2020–21, Arabian Gulf Cup top scorer in 2014, 2019, AFC Asian Cup top scorer in 2015, AFC Asian Cup Team of the Tournament in 2015 and 2019.

Junya Ito

  • Genk-


Another Japanese professional footballer, Junya Ito is the next individual on the list of  the

Best Asian players of 2021

. Born on March 9, 1993 in Yokosuka, Kanagawa, Japan, Ito started his youth career in 2011. In 2015 Ito began his professional debut by joining Ventforet Kofu where he scored 4 goals in 30 appearances.

His first season as a professional player attracted attention from Kashiwa Reysol. The Chiba club signed him in January 2016.On 31 January 2019, Junya Ito moved from Kashiwa Reysol to Genk on a one year loan deal.

At the international level, Ito joined the Japan national team in 2017 where till now he has scored 5 goals in 24 appearances.During these years Ito has won some trophies including Belgian First Division in  2018–19, Belgian Cup in 2020–21, Belgian Super Cup in 2019.

Eldor Shomurodov

  • Genoa - Uzbekistan

The next name on the list of the Best Asian players of 2021 belongs to the Uzbek player Eldor Azamat oʻgʻli Shomurodov, simply known as Eldor Shomurodov. The 25-year old striker joined the Italian Serie A side at the start of this current season.Born on 29 June 1995 in Jurkorgan, Uzbekistan, Shomurodov started his senior career in 2014with Mash'al Mubarek. He continued with Bunyodkor, FC Rostov and in October 2020, he moved to Italian Serie A club 



At the international level, after playing for the Uzbekistan U19 and U20, Shomurodov joined Uzbekistan international team in 2015 where he has scored 21 goals in 44 appearances.

Shomurodov has scored 7 goals and registered 1 assist at Genoa this season, having started 15 games and having been subbed-in in 15 more. Additionally, he has registered a 1.2 shots per goal record, which shows he is efficient when it comes to shooting but also points to the fact that he must take more chances.

Lee Kang-in

  • Valencia - South Korea

He is another South Korean footballer whose name is on the list of the

Best Asian players of 2021

. He plays as an attacking midfielder in La Liga for Valencia CF. He has joined the club in 2018 and became the youngest Korean footballer to debut professionally in Europe.

This 20-year-old footballer made his debut in October 2018, starting and playing against CD Ebro in the Copa del Rey, and following that season he won the title with his club. It's worth mentioning that he never played for any Asian club and began his career in La Liga. Actually he was trained in


before he started his senior career.

He also began to play for his national team On 5 September 2019, in a 2–2 draw friendly match against Georgia as a starter. Lee was announced as an Asian Young Footballer of the Year in 2019 by AFC but it wasn't enough for him. He also won the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup's Golden Ball award that year and proved that he is really powerful despite his young age.

Lee has also won some individual honors including Toulon Tournament Best XI in 2018, FIFA U-20 World Cup Golden Ball in 2019, Asian Young Footballer of the Year in 2019, Kopa Trophy nominee in 2019 and Korean Young Footballer of the Year in 2019.

Hwang Ui-jo

  • Bordeaux - South Korea

Former Seongnam FC and Gamba Osaka striker, Hwang Ui-Jo is the next name on the list of the Best Asian players of 2021.He has found his way to Ligue 1’s Bordeaux and the striker/winger has impressed the French media by being a regular goal scorer for the Bordeaux.

Hwang Ui-jo is a skilled dribbler, with high technique, and finishing ability.But as far as his best position goes, Hwang’s best position seems to be the center forward position as he has made great partnerships with the likes of Adli or Ben Arfa at Bordeaux. Last season he managed 6 goals and 2 assists before Ligue 1 was cut short due to COVID-19 outbreak. But this season he has outdone himself by scoring 12 goals and registering 3 assists, becoming Bordeaux’s top goal scorer and the main reason they have avoided relegation.

At the international level, Hwang Ui-jo joined South Korea national team in 2015 where he has scored 14 goals in his 36 appearances.

Daichi Kamada

  • Eintracht Frankfurt- Japan

The Japanese professional footballer, Daichi Kamada is another

Asian Footballer of the Year

.Born on 5 August 1996 in Ehime, Japan, Kamada whose father was once a footballer and worked for the seniors and juniors at Osaka University of Physical Education,started his youth career in 2012. Under his father’s guidance, Kamada was able to work hard and learned how to use his body. In 2015 Kamada began his professional debut by joining Sagan Tosu where he scored 13 goals in 65 appearances.

In June 2017, Kamada joined Bundesliga club Eintracht Frankfurt, signing a four-year contract running until 2021.At the international level, after playing for the Japan U21 and U23, Kamada joined Japan international team in 2019 where till now he has scored 4 goals in 13 appearances.

Sardar Azmoun

  • Zenit St. Petersburg - Iran

Sardar Azmoun

is an Iranian footballer whose name shines on the list of the Best Asian players of 2021. He is currently playing for the Russian club Zenit Saint Petersburg and the Iran national team as a forward. He began his senior career in 2011 and joined Iran national team in 2014. Since then he has scored 37 national goals and became Iran’s fifth all-time goalscorer. He also is the second AFC Asian Cup 2019 top scorer with 4 goals. Known for his creativity, ability, bursts of acceleration, and techniques he placed himself among the 

Best Footballer in Asia 2021


He played for clubs such as Sepahan, Rostov, 

Rubin Kazan

, and in 2019 he was transferred to the Russian club Zenit Saint Petersburg for a €12m transfer fee. In talking more about this 26-year-old footballer's honors, It can be mentioned that he won Iran's pro league title once with Sepahan, the Russian Premier League twice, Russian cup once and super cup once.

After scoring 9 goals in 12 matches in his first 6 months at Zenit, Azmoun went on to score 17 and become Russian Premier League’s top scorer in the 2019-20 season, helping them become champions again. This season he has hit his personal best when it comes to the league competition, as he scored 19 and once again became the top goal scorer in the league, helping Zenit to a 3rd consecutive league title as well as his first Russian Cup.

Mehdi Taremi

  • Porto – Iran

The next position on the list of the Best Asian players of 2021 belongs to another Iranian player,

Mehdi Taremi

.Born on 18 July 1992, in Bushehr, a city on the coast of Persian Gulf, Taremi started playing professional football for his hometown team of Shahin but after not getting enough game time he decided to move to Iranjavan in the second-tier league of Iran where he became the competition’s best goal scorer in the 2013-14 season and that earned him a move to Iran’s biggest team, Persepolis.

At Persepolis, he showed his true potential very soon and established himself as a star. After that he joined Qatar’s Al-Gharafa in 2017 and in 2019 Portugal’s Rio Ave came calling him. In his first season in Portugal, Taremi managed to score 18 goals and register 2 assists which helped the club to a 5th placed finish and subsequent Europa League qualification.

He has scored 16 goals and registered 11 assists becoming the 3rd best goal scorer in Primeira Liga as well as being the competition’s top assist provider. He also played a huge part in Porto’s run in the Champions League by scoring against both Juventus and Chelsea.

Son Heung-min

  • Tottenham Hotspur - South Korea

Next on the list of the Best Asian players of 2021, we have 

Son Heung-min

, a South Korean footballer who plays for Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur. He is also the captain of the South Korea national team.Heung-min won the best footballer in Asia title 3 times in a row and 5 times in the previous 6 years. Last year, he won the title with 258 points and was far ahead from his competitors.

Son became the top Asian goalscorer in both Premier League and Champions League history, the second Asian in history to reach and start a UEFA Champions League final, and for this year, he surely will be one of the Best Asian Footballers 2021. He shined in his national team too, represented South Korea in 2014 and 2018 FIFA World Cups and he is his country's highest scorer in the World Cup.He has scored 27 goals in his 91 appearances in the national team.

This was the article about the Asian Footballers of the Year. Of course we all know that the Asian football is on the way to improve and in the near future we will hear more about the great players of this wide continent.We hope you enjoyed.

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