Five Best Southeast Asian Footballers Currently Playing In Europe
While football has been considered to be a sport dominated by Europe and South America for so many years, one can’t doubt the global influence that it has on the masses. Gradually, it has also changed the interests of Southeast Asia, which has many countries that are traditionally adept in sports that aren’t football.
Football is being seen as a means of attaining soft-power and as a means of establishing oneself in the world. And maybe, soon enough, Asia will become one of the more prominent continents in football.
On that note, Fox Sports look at five footballers who have Southeast Asian roots and are plying their trade in Europe.
5. Dennis Buschening (Westfalen Rhynern, Thailand)
Born to Thai and German parents in the German city of Esslingen am Neckar, Buschening is 27 and is a striker by position.
While he began his career playing in Germany, Buschening moved to Thailand in 2013 and played there for about four years before moving back to Germany to play at Westfalia Rhynern in the Regionalliga. That is where he’s still at this season.
4. Marito Marcal (Dungannon Swifts FC, Timor-Leste)
Perhaps one of those Southeast Asian youngsters in Europe to watch out for, Marcal plays in Northern Ireland today. Just 16, he is yet to make a single appearance for his club Dungannon, the side he joined from Tyrone United in the same division.
East Timorese by nationality, Marcal is a striker and some expect him to be a big thing for his country in the future.
3. Egy Maulana (Lechia Gdansk, Indonesia)
The 18-year-old Indonesian sensation was named in The Guardian’s list as one of the 60 most promising youngsters in the world.
Having joined the Polish side Lechia Gdansk this past summer, Maulana has impressed for the club’s junior side, making seven appearances and scoring as many as eight times. He is the side’s top-scorer currently and could be in line for a call-up from the senior side.
The striker has already appeared three times in the senior Indonesian side and recently guided Indonesia to the quarterfinals of the AFC U19 Championship held recently. His record for the U19 side is worth appreciating as he scored 15 times in 16 appearances.
2. John-Patrick Strauss (Erzgebirge Aue, Philippines)
One of the lesser known stars of Filipino football, Strauss once plied his trade with Bundesliga runner-ups RB Leipzig and was part of the squad that gained promotion into the first division from the 2. Bundesliga.
He had scored nine times for the Leipzig II side in the 2016-17 season, making it once to the bench. He currently plies his trade with Erzgebirge Aue in the 2. Bundesliga, appearing three times this season.
1. Neil Etheridge (Cardiff City FC, Philippines)
Probably the most prominent Southeast Asian player in history, Neil Etheridge was born to Filipino parents but took birth in Enfield, Tottenham in London.
Plying his trade with Cardiff City, Etheridge played a role in getting the Welsh side promoted to the Premier League last season and his heroics in goal for Neil Warnock’s men saw him save two penalties in just as many games in the beginning of the season.
The games against Bournemouth and Newcastle saw him parry consecutive penalties and the 28-year-old became the first goalkeeper after Alan McGregor to save a penalty on his Premier League debut.
He is expected to play for the Azkals at the ongoing 2018 AFF Suzuki Cup.
Source : Fox Sports