Football is a sport popular all around the globe. While Europe continues to be the hub of the sport, various leagues outside Europe have developed at an impressive rate. Brazil, Japan, Mexico and the United States of America have all seen their leagues flourish, with more and more big-name players moving there.
Gone are the days when non-European leagues were dubbed as retirement homes. Players in their prime are now moving to these leagues, which is a sign of their burgeoning quality.
On that note, here's a look at the five best players not playing in Europe right now.
#5 Andres Iniesta (Vissel Kobe)
One of the greatest midfielders to have played the game, Andres Iniesta is showing no signs of stopping down at Vissel Kobe.
A product of Barcelona's famed La Masia academy, Iniesta made 674 appearances in all competitions for the Camp Nou outfit, scoring 57 goals and providing 139 assists. An elegant, technically gifted midfielder, Iniesta won every possible trophy for Barcelona and Spain before joining Japan's Vissel Kobe in 2018.
The 37-year-old has not disappointed in Japan. In 86 appearances in all competitions, Iniesta has scored 18 goals and provided 19 assists. He has won the Emperor's Cup and the Japanese Super Cup as he continues to impress with his creativity and passing.
#4 Oscar (Shanghai Port)
When Oscar left Chelsea to join Shanghai Port (then called Shanghai SIPG) in 2017 for an eye-watering fee of £54 million, he was heavily criticised.
But this transfer was the beginning of the dominance of the Chinese Super League, with Chinese clubs spending extraordinary amounts to lure big-name players from Europe. While that trend has stopped since then, Oscar continues to earn well with Shanghai Port, and has been consistently excellent for them.
The Brazil international has made 152 appearances in all competitions for Shanghai, scoring 48 goals and providing 82 assists.
A creative midfielder, Oscar has won the Chinese Super League and the Chinese FA Super Cup with Shanghai Port. Despite big-names departing China on a consistent basis recently, the 29-year-old has stayed put in Shanghai.