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5 Asian Players To Look Out For In World Cup 2018

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8.65K   //    24 Apr 2018, 12:16 IST

Japan v Syria - FIFA World Cup Asian Qualifier 2nd Round
Shinji Kagawa

The countdown to the ‘Greatest Show on Earth’ is well and truly on as the 32 best football teams in the world are preparing to face off in Russia at the FIFA World Cup 2018. Asia is sending five representatives to grace the event as the likes of Japan, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Australia are getting ready to square off against the best in the world. 

Ever since South Korea’s dream run in the 2002 edition of the World Cup, Asian teams have emerged as a force to be reckoned with at the tournament and teams who take them lightly do so at their own peril.

This edition of the tournament should be no different. As we inch closer to the mega kick-off on June 14th, this article takes a look at five Asian players who could catch the eye in Russia this summers

(Stats Courtesy:,

#5 Mohammad Al-Sahlawi

Al Sahlawi was the top scorer in the AFC World Cup Qualifiers
Al Sahlawi was the top scorer in the AFC World Cup Qualifiers

Many pundits believe Saudi Arabia is the weakest amongst the five Asian teams travelling to Russia this summer and their fate is squarely on the shoulders of their talismanic striker Mohammad Al- Sahlawi.

The 31-year old, who plays for Saudi side Al Nassr, has a staggering goal scoring record for both club and country. He has been particularly sensational for his country, having scored 28 goals in just 36 appearances.


He has been in red-hot form on both fronts since the dawn of 2017. Sahlawi has scored 11 times in 23 appearances for his domestic side this season. The enigmatic striker was also the continent’s joint top scorer in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers and has been instrumental in his nation’s progress to the Finals.

He established himself as the premier goal poacher in Asia during the campaign, scoring 16 times in just 14 qualifying games. It's worth mentioning that Sahlawi is leaving no stone unturned in preparing for the summer and as a part of the preparation he spent the last month in England training with Manchester United.

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