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Teerasil Dangda: From the European dream to the Japanese haven

Teerasil Dangda: From the European dream to the Japanese haven

The Thailand national football team’s record goalscorer Teerasil Dangda has officially completed his transfer to J1 League side Shimizu S-Pulse.

Teerasil Dangda has carved his name in Thai football history as one of the most successful footballers that The Land of Smiles has ever produced. His career has been glorious both at the club level and in international terms.

The 31-year-old is now the third best goalscorer (45 goals) and the third most caps player (104 goals) of Thailand national football team. The lethal striker has also built his stature as a legend of Thai League 1 giants Muangthong United, holding the club record of the most goals scored and the most appearances.

Dangda’s remarkable ability to find open spaces and diverse finishing skills not only brought him domestic success but also draw the attention of clubs from the top-flight football continent – Europe.

Europe has truly brought the word “professional” in football to its highest level, which matches are not won solely by individual talents but a combination of a wide range of elements: from youth training, statistic system, football technology to top-notch condition of the field.

Teerasil Dangda: From the European dream to the Japanese haven

For that reason, playing in Europe has always been a dream not just to Dangda but to all footballers, especially in less developed region like the ASEAN. However, the Thai legendary striker was one of the few that could actually make dreams come true.

The big break first occurred to the Thai international in 2007 with his transfer from Muangthong United to English Premier League giants Manchester City, joining stars like Daniel Sturridge, Elano.

Although could not find a place in The Citizens squad, the Thai striker’s adventure on European soil had not yet come to an end with a loan to Swiss side Grasshoppers in 2008. The legend came back to Europe one more time in 2014 also on a loan from his club at the time Muangthong United.

Now at the age of 31, Teerasil Dangda continues to show his glamour beyond the Thai border with the new signing with Japanese Shimizu S-Pulse. This move to Japan is expected to be successful for the Thai striker as he had experience playing at the J1 League in the colors of Sanfrecce Hiroshima in 2018.

Thai footballers like Dangda are getting more and more noticed by clubs in the J1 League since there are similarities in the skill-oriented and ball-possessing philosophy of the two football nations and the arrivals of Thai internationals are also good opportunities to promote J1 League’s image to Thailand.

Apart from Teerasil Dangda, J1 League also possesses other Thai stars like Chanathip Songkrasin, Kawin Thamsatchanan, Theerathon Bunmathan, Tawan Khotrsupho.