Australia, who take part in Asian qualification, were not considered, as the country is not part of the Asian continent, while the likes of Turkey, Armenia and Russia, countries that straddle Europe and Asia, were also excluded from consideration. The team certainly demands an improvement on the Confederations Cup performance, where both Brazil and Italy tore the back line to shreds. With Yasuyuki Konno heading towards retirement, Southampton man Maya Yoshida looks to be the best prospect around which to construct the defence. He may have had a tricky beginning to life in the Premier League, as part of a Southampton defence that haemorrhaged goals, but Yoshida gently managed to grow to meet the demands imposed upon him. Lee, like his American teammate Stuart Holden , burst into the Premier League with a number of terrific performances before injury robbed them both of their momentum.
Meet Son Heung-min, The Greatest Asian Soccer Player of Our Time
7 Best Asian Footballers Right Now
The South Koreans were brilliant as they reached the semi-finals, in a campaign that helped open doors for more Asians getting an opportunity in top European leagues. Park Ji-Sung remains one of the best Asians ever to have played in Europe, and his time at Manchester United was littered with trophies. However, there have been other Asian footballers who have done well in the big leagues in Europe, and here are the five best currently plying their trade in the continent. The attacker is the highest Asian goalscorer in Premier League history and has achieved a lot for both club and country.
A goal-scoring machine with wicked pace and a deft touch, the South Korean winger has soared above expectations for Tottenham Hotspur this season. After all, soccer is by leaps and bounds the most global sport there is. Ronaldo has won it five times, Messi four.
South American teams dazzle us with their flair and carnival football from Brazil and Argentina, European teams impress us with efficient, technical football from Germany and Spain and African teams compete through their strength and athleticism through Ghana and Nigeria. Even the North Americans are starting to catch up in the footballing world by getting increased publicity and exposure for the beautiful game. However, probably the most overlooked and under-represented footballing continent is Asia, bizarre given the fact that Asia makes up 60 percent of the world's population. Only three Asian teams made it to the World Cup, staggering given the geographical enormity of Asia and its people.