The Bundesliga has seen a steady rise in Asian players in recent years, as the league’s blueprint of using young players with value has helped them financially.
Five-most prolific Asian goal-scorers in the Bundesliga
Not too long back, Asian players found it hard to cut it in Europe because of the wide gulf in quality and visa restrictions. However, there have been a few prominent exceptions.
So without further ado, let’s take a look at the five-most prolific Asian goal-scorers in the Bundesliga:
#5 Shinji Okazaki (Japan) – 37 goals
Shinji Okazaki is perhaps more of a recognised figure than some of the others because of what he achieved during his spell with Leicester City in England.
After impressing in Japan’s top division, VfB Stuttgart signed Okazaki in 2010. The Japanese international took a bit of time to acclimatise to life at Stuttgart. They weren’t quite happy with his goal return, though, so he was eventually shipped to Mainz.
Okazaki moved on a bargain fee of £1.35 million, as then-manager Thomas Tuchel made good use of the player's work-rate and good finishing ability.
The Japan international scored 15 Bundesliga goals in his first season at Mainz, finishing as the club’s leading goal-scorer ahead of Eric Maxim Chupo-Moting. His second season was equally impressive, as he managed 12 Bundesliga goals and six assists.
Eventually, Leicester City took notice of his tenacious displays and signed him in 2015. He went on to lift the Premier League title with the Foxes.
#4 Vahid Hashemian – 38 goals
Vahid Hashemian is perhaps one of the best western Asian imports to have played in the Bundesliga. He is certainly one of the best foreign imports to have donned the VfL Bochum jersey.
The Iranian got a taste of Bundesliga football with Hamburg but failed to impress the team from the north. Eventually, he signed for Bochum on a free transfer, where he felt at home.
Hashemian's quick feet and presence inside the box helped him scored eight goals in his first season to help his team gain promotion to the Bundesliga.
A tally of 26 Bundesliga goals in his next two seasons for Bochum put him on Bayern Munich’s radar. Although he had a quiet spell in Bavaria, he helped put the spotlight on Iran and their growing pool of talented players.
Vahid Hashemian eventually left the Bundesliga club for Persepolis in 2010 after scoring 38 times in the competition.