Asia’s large size and numerous countries mean it possesses a number of football leagues. Footballers seeking a breakthrough in the game may choose to relocate to an Asian league for more playing time and a chance to develop as a player.
If you are a footballer seeking a chance to grow in the game these football leagues in Asia could be a destination for you.
Japan’s J-League may not receive the headlines that the Chinese Super League has in recent seasons, but what it lacks in big-name, high-paid players it makes up for with overall quality. Founded in 1992, the J-League has been a long-running competition with two divisions below it.
2. Chinese Super League
The Chinese Super League started in 2004 but had numerous problems due to match-fixing. In recent seasons, the CSL has shelled out large sums of money and it was believed big-named players would leave the Premier League and the big leagues around Europe for China. However, that has not happened and the appeal of the CSL has faded. Still, the quality in the league is there and is on display most weekends.
Formed in 1983, the Korean K-League is one of the oldest football leagues on the continent. A lot has changed since those early days and now the K-League attracts players from all over the world. After years of having a closed system with no relegation or promotion, the league adopted promotion and relegation as more clubs became professional.
Australia’s A-League is one of two leagues in the world that has a salary cap (the other being MLS). The restrictions on spending is an attempt to make the league and clubs sustainable. In 2019, the A-League added an 11th team with the expansion of Western United. Growth has been slow and the A-League lacks promotion and relegation, but with football (soccer) being a smaller sport compared to traditional Aussie sports, things have had to be measured.
5. Saudi Professional League
The Saudi Professional League has been in existence since 1976 and has long been a powerhouse on the Asian continent. While the Saudi Arabian national team hasn’t been great on the world stage nor have Saudi players excelled in Europe, the SPL remains strong. The league has been able to pay high salaries to domestic players to keep them from moving abroad. In addition, players from elsewhere have arrived to play in the SPL due to the oil-money fuelled teams in the league.