The Asian Continent is no longer in captive with the so called big names; Japan, Australia and South Korea. The likes of China, Qatar and Iran are making a name for themselves at club and country level. Big money moves have seen big names heading to the East (Asia), for the development of their leagues, and players now leave Asia to Europe more often.
Gone are those days when we used to hear of spotted names, they’re now littered everywhere and playing good stuff.
In the 2018 FIFA world cup, Japan qualified for their 3rd round of 16 in the competition, while an Iranian side paddled by Carlos Queioz was rather unfortunate in a group consisting of Spain and Portugal to miss out on qualification on the final day of play_Saudi Arabia beat Egypt to end third, capping it up is Korea’s win over the mighty Germany, not bad for all 4 Asian participants_picking at least a win in the competition.
Two major football competitions are just from getting over, and they were won by two separate countries. South Korea won the All Asian games, while Qatar defied all odds to become Asian cup Champions, and the brand of football just wowed the world
An important record that favors the Asian Continent is the fact that no continent has ever hosted a world cup, without a nation from the continent making it to the quarter finals.
Eight teams have won the FIFA world cup in it’s 89 year’s of existence, and just 2 continent’s know how the 13.54 pounds gold sculpture feels like. The Europeans and the South Americans have made the trophy theirs for the past few year’s, but the handwriting on the wall suggests that another Continent (Asia) is sprinting their way to the mountain tops.
The allocation of the 2022 FIFA world cup raised a lot of eyebrows, and came with some controversy_but the likes of China, South Korea, Qatar and Japan have invested in talents heavily for the 2022 show case.
Cameo’s and glimpses of Asia’s maturity came way back in 2002 when history was made (first time for two countries to act as host), and also saw Asia producing a semi finalist in South Korea, that was tutored at the time by Guus Hiddink.
Japan fell to Turkey is the round of 16, while South Korea narrowly lost to a star-studded Germany and had to settle for 4 position courtesy a defeat to Turkey.
Asia would not just be in the world cup to make up the numbers, but would try to go as far as winning. Other continents in general, and nation’s in particular should watch out for the growth of the ‘beautiful game’ in the Asian continent.