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Exporting footballers to Japan: Thailand contribute 7 times more than Vietnam

Exporting footballers to Japan: Thailand contribute 7 times more than Vietnam

Both in the past and present, Thai players often choose the J1. League as the ideal football environment to gain experience and develop their careers.

Thai national goalkeeper Kawin Thamsatchanan has just moved to Consadole from OH Leuven in Belgium. This deal marks the most number of Thai players in Japan ever.

Particularly in J1.League, Thailand currently has 5 players playing in top clubs. The list includes Chanathip Songkrasin & Kawin Thamsatchanan in the Consadole shirt, Teerasil Dangda has just signed with Shimizu S-Pulse, Theerathon Bunmathan continues to stay in Yokohama Marinos and Thitipan Puangchan in Oita Trinita.

Exporting footballers to Japan: Thailand contribute 7 times more than Vietnam

In the past, Thailand has had dozens of players coming to play in Japan. Therefore, Thai football fans are not too surprised by the above contracts. Furthermore, there are also 5 Thai footballers playing for young Japanese teams in the 2019 season.

In particular, Natthawut Suksum played for Tokyo U23 under a loan contract from Bangkok United, the French-Thai player Chakrit Laptrakul competed for Tokushima Vortis in J.League 2, or the trio wearing Cerezo Osaka is Tawan Khotsupho, Chaowat Veerachat and Phongrawit Jantawong from BG Pathum United.

From 1976 to 2020, Thailand has a total of 25 times exporting players to compete in Japan. The overall number is 22 people - the highest in Southeast Asia, outperforming Vietnamese or Malaysian football.

In 2015, striker Nguyen Cong Phuong and midfield Nguyen Tuan Anh played for two clubs Mito Hollyhock and FC Yokohama in J. League 2. Earlier, in 2013, Vietnamese legend Le Cong Vinh was loaned to the Consadole Sapporo by Song Lam Nghe An for a season. Thus, only 3 Vietnamese players have come to Japan to play, but they all did not get significant results.

Exporting footballers to Japan: Thailand contribute 7 times more than Vietnam

Meanwhile, since 1976, the monument Witthaya Laohakul opened the wave of Thai football stars in Japan by becoming the first Thai player ever to come to J League. Former technical director of the Football Association of Thailand played for Cerezo Osaka and Gamba Osaka (1986-1995).

Teerasil Dangda and Theerathon Bunmathan both have a second period to compete in Japan. Muangthong United striker played for Sanfrecce Hiroshima in 2018 before coming to S-Pulse in 2020, whereas left-back Bunmathan completely moved from Vissel Kobe to Yokohama Marinos.

Exporting footballers to Japan: Thailand contribute 7 times more than Vietnam

The 23rd Thai footballer who is rumored to join J1.League is Muangthong United's captain, Sarach Yooyen. The midfielder is likely to join the Kawasaki Frontale on a one-season loan deal.