China, India, Pakistan, USA and Indonesian players and the Premier league

MadchesterCity

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12 Sep 2009
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10,903
China, India, Pakistan, USA and Indonesia together make up almost 50% of the worlds population yet of those "3.7 billion current" only 57 of those (49 Americans) have played in premier league since it's inauguration.
Why have so few players from China and India been able to\ chosen to play in the Premier league or at a top level?
I haven't checked the other European leagues but suspect this is similar across the top leagues.
USA aside [10th], are the other nations just not very good at football, I know other sports are more popular, but why barely any top level footballers with such huge populations?

CountryPlayersPopulationFifa ranking
China
7
1,445,000,000
71
India
0
1,396,000,000
105
Pakistan
1
226,000,000
198
United States
49
333,000,000
10
Indonesia
0
276,000,000
174
3,676,000,000


United States
Jozy Altidore – Hull City, Sunderland – 2009–10, 2013–15
DaMarcus Beasley – Manchester City – 2006–07
Carlos Bocanegra – Fulham – 2003–08
Michael Bradley – Aston Villa – 2010–11
Geoff Cameron – Stoke City – 2012–18
Bobby Convey – Reading – 2006–08
Jay DeMerit – Watford – 2006–07
Clint Dempsey – Fulham, Tottenham Hotspur – 2006–14
Landon Donovan – Everton – 2009–10, 2011–12
Maurice Edu – Stoke City – 2012–13
Benny Feilhaber – Derby County – 2007–08[b BRA]
Ian Feuer – West Ham United, Derby County – 1999–2000, 2001–02
Brad Friedel – Liverpool, Blackburn Rovers, Aston Villa, Tottenham Hotspur – 1997–2000, 2001–14
Lynden Gooch – Sunderland – 2016–17[c IRL U19]
Brad Guzan – Aston Villa, Middlesbrough – 2008–09, 2011–17
Marcus Hahnemann – Reading, Wolverhampton Wanderers – 2006–08, 2009–11
John Harkes – Sheffield Wednesday, West Ham United, Nottingham Forest – 1992–93, 1995–96, 1998–99
Stuart Holden – Bolton Wanderers – 2009–11[b SCO]
Tim Howard – Manchester United, Everton – 2003–16
Emerson Hyndman – Bournemouth – 2017–19
Eddie Johnson – Fulham – 2007–08, 2009–11
Jemal Johnson – Blackburn Rovers – 2004–06
Cobi Jones – Coventry City – 1994–95
Jermaine Jones – Blackburn Rovers – 2010–11[b FRG][c GER]
Kasey Keller – Leicester City, Tottenham Hotspur, Southampton, Fulham – 1996–99, 2001–05, 2007–08
Jovan Kirovski – Birmingham City – 2002–04
Eddie Lewis – Fulham, Derby County – 2001–02, 2007–08
Eric Lichaj – Aston Villa – 2010–13
Matt Miazga – Chelsea – 2015–16[c POL U18]
Brian McBride – Everton, Fulham – 2002–08
Joe-Max Moore – Everton – 1999–2002
Oguchi Onyewu – Newcastle United – 2006–07
Owen Otasowie – Wolverhampton Wanderers – 2020–21
Preki – Everton – 1992–94[b SRB-YUG]
Christian Pulisic – Chelsea – 2019–
Tim Ream – Bolton Wanderers, Fulham – 2011–12, 2018–19, 2020–21
Claudio Reyna – Sunderland, Manchester City – 2001–07
Antonee Robinson – Fulham – 2020–21[b ENG]
Josh Sargent – Norwich City – 2021–
Brek Shea – Stoke City – 2012–14
Johann Smith – Bolton Wanderers – 2006–07
Juergen Sommer – Queens Park Rangers – 1995–96
Jonathan Spector – Manchester United, Charlton Athletic, West Ham United – 2004–11
Zack Steffen – Manchester City – 2020–
Indiana Vassilev – Aston Villa – 2019–20
Roy Wegerle – Blackburn Rovers, Coventry City – 1992–95[b SAF]
Zak Whitbread – Norwich City – 2011–12
Danny Williams – Huddersfield Town – 2017–19[b FRG][c GER U15]
DeAndre Yedlin – Tottenham Hotspur, Sunderland, Newcastle United – 2014–16, 2017–21

China
Tyias Browning – Everton – 2014–16
Dong Fangzhuo – Manchester United – 2006–07
Li Tie – Everton – 2002–04
Li Weifeng – Everton – 2002–03
Sun Jihai – Manchester City – 2002–08
Nico Yennaris – Arsenal – 2011–12
Zheng Zhi – Charlton Athletic – 2006–07

Pakistan
Zesh Rehman – Fulham – 2003–06

Best Chinese Soccer Players | List of Famous Footballers from China (ranker.com)
Wang Xiao- Defender from Shenyang, China
Cheung Chi Doy - Forward and Midfielder from China, Hong Kong
Gao Leilei - Midfielder from Beijing, China
Sun Jihai
Defender from Dalian, China
Sun Jihai is a Chinese former footballer who played in the English Premier League. He is one of the most well-known footballers in China. He was the first East Asian footballer to score in the Premier League when he scored a goal for Manchester City in October 2002,[1] and also the first Chinese footballer to score in the UEFA Cup. Sun was a member of the Chinese national team that qualified for the 2002 FIFA World Cup, the country's only appearance at the World Cup.
 

DontLookBackInAnger

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Location
Central Salford
I know something about the issue with the US, with the exception of Baseball to a degree, all the major sports use a collage sports route, with collage attendance being so damn expensive its a good option to fund it, play sport..... So you have a lot of athletes who's goal is simply to get a scholarship to take them through collage, that's pretty much the end goal. Football fits really badly into that model, a 23 year old leaving collage has missed a 1/3rd of their likely career and haven't been spotted yet! Personally that's why I think there have been such a large number of goalkeepers....losing those early years really doesn't seem to hurt keepers the same way it would a winger for example.

In terms of the other countries you mention, its a little like the chicken and the egg, for progression you need a healthy national league, or at least access to one.... The best player I have ever seen(and I have been watching football since the late 70s)live was a South Korean he was so talented that he was able to transcend the fact that South Korea had a really weak league at the time, but he kind of proves my point, other than people that watched him week in week out, I doubt most people have even heard of him.
 

MadchesterCity

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Joined
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10,903
I know something about the issue with the US, with the exception of Baseball to a degree, all the major sports use a collage sports route, with collage attendance being so damn expensive its a good option to fund it, play sport..... So you have a lot of athletes who's goal is simply to get a scholarship to take them through collage, that's pretty much the end goal. Football fits really badly into that model, a 23 year old leaving collage has missed a 1/3rd of their likely career and haven't been spotted yet! Personally that's why I think there have been such a large number of goalkeepers....losing those early years really doesn't seem to hurt keepers the same way it would a winger for example.

In terms of the other countries you mention, its a little like the chicken and the egg, for progression you need a healthy national league, or at least access to one.... The best player I have ever seen(and I have been watching football since the late 70s)live was a South Korean he was so talented that he was able to transcend the fact that South Korea had a really weak league at the time, but he kind of proves my point, other than people that watched him week in week out, I doubt most people have even heard of him.
Interesting, I hadn't really considered the college system having that huge an influence. Good point on the keepers

I think the thing that surprises me are China and India together are almost 45% of world population and there are only a handful of successful footballers. I find it bizarre that for China, a country which is so exceptional at majority of sports has so few footballers of a decent quality. Perhaps in 25 years 25% of the worlds best players will come from China?

Who was the South Korean?
 

DontLookBackInAnger

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Joined
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Messages
10,464
Location
Central Salford
Maybe China will develop into a world power footballing wise, I remember back in the late 70s their national team toured England(they might have played WBA..)and there was talk back then that they simply had to explode onto the footballing world, but as of yet its not really happened, maybe a World Cup?

The South Korean was a guy by the name of Cha Bum-kun, I believe his son ended up playing for Celtic during his career, although I think he was a defender. He kind of played in a false number nine role back before anyone really did that. The closest City player I have seen is if you could picture a goal scoring David Silva, had the same kind of grace as Silva and while he scored a good amount of goals, pretty much everything flowed through him, his assists must have been to an insane level, I should add that around the same kind of time I had the chance to see Maradona in Naples, so that's how highly I rated this guy.

 

Theking16

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Manchester City
I know something about the issue with the US, with the exception of Baseball to a degree, all the major sports use a collage sports route, with collage attendance being so damn expensive its a good option to fund it, play sport..... So you have a lot of athletes who's goal is simply to get a scholarship to take them through collage, that's pretty much the end goal. Football fits really badly into that model, a 23 year old leaving collage has missed a 1/3rd of their likely career and haven't been spotted yet! Personally that's why I think there have been such a large number of goalkeepers....losing those early years really doesn't seem to hurt keepers the same way it would a winger for example.

In terms of the other countries you mention, its a little like the chicken and the egg, for progression you need a healthy national league, or at least access to one.... The best player I have ever seen(and I have been watching football since the late 70s)live was a South Korean he was so talented that he was able to transcend the fact that South Korea had a really weak league at the time, but he kind of proves my point, other than people that watched him week in week out, I doubt most people have even heard of him.

I think good health full stop in India, most of the population is starving to death.
 

dublinblue12

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Joined
17 Aug 2015
Messages
1,780
Think its a cultural thing. While football is big as a spectator sport in most of these countries, its probably not picked up on until later in life. What I mean is, in countries like Brazil, Argentina, and even UK, football is a part of life and many grow up watching a famous local team and playing football with mates from an early age. In counties like India its cricket. In USA, its baseball or american football.
 
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