Top 5 Most-capped Asian players

Who are the top five players with the most caps in Asia? We limited this list to one player per nation who fall short of world-record holder Ahmed Hassan with 184 appearances for Egypt.

Yasuhito Endo, Japan (152)

Yasuhito Endo plays for J. League team Gamba Osaka, a creative midfielder noted for his passing skills and accuracy with free-kicks.

The Asian Football Confederation’s Player of the Year for 2009 was a regular in the J. League Best Eleven list.

He played in the 1999 FIFA World Youth Championship, where Japan lost to Spain in the final, and was selected for the nation’s World Cup squads in 2006, 2010 and 2014, as well as their 2004 and 2011 AFC Asian Cup winning teams.

On 24 June 2010, Endo scored from a free-kick against Denmark in a 3–1 win as Japan qualified for the second round of the World Cup.

He played in last year’s AFC Asian Cup and scored Japan’s opening goal of the tournament in a 4–0 defeat of Palestine and won his 150th cap as Japan defeated Iraq 1–0 in their next outing.

The 36 year old was most recently in the headlines after scoring the winner with his first goal of the season as Gamba Osaka beat Jubilo Iwata in the J. League in May.

Salman Isa Ghuloom, Bahrain (156)

Salman Isa, as he is generally known, played as a winger or a wingback for Al Riffa in the Bahraini Premier League. Known for his hard work on the wing with Al Riffa, he was pushed into the forwards, leading to an uptick in goal-scoring. They won the Bahraini Premier League title in 2002–2003.

Bahrain qualified for the 2004 AFC Asian Cup in China, with “al janah al taer,” or “the flying wing,” playing a limited role in their run to the semi-finals because of injury.

Also in 2004 at the Gulf Arabian Cup in Qatar, he scored in Bahrain’s 3–0 win over neighbors Saudi Arabia, once again making the semi-finals and eventually finishing third.

Salman scored for Bahrain in a qualifier for the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany against Trinidad and Tobago, but they failed to advance.

Bader al-Mutawa, Kuwait (156)

Bader Ahmed al-Mutawa plays for Qadsia as a second striker. He might be best known as the second-best Asian player of 2006 after mistakenly being handed the third-place prize meant for Saudi Arabia’s Mohammad al-Shalhoub.

He was the Kuwaiti league’s top scorer among local players in the 2008-2009 season with 10 goals.

He trained with Barcelona in 2012, but missed out on a place in the club after being denied a work permit.

Al-Mutawa scored in Kuwait’s only win at the 2003 Gulf Cup, which Kuwait hosted. He netted in their 4–0 win over Yemen as the home side finished sixth.

He scored at the 2004 Gulf Cup of Nations against Saudi Arabia and made the semi-finals after topping Group B.

At the 2007 Gulf Cup of Nations, al-Mutawa scored two goals in a forgettable campaign.

On September 3 last year, al-Mutawa scored his second senior hat-trick in a 9–0 defeat of Myanmar in a 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier.

Adnan al-Talyani, United Arab Emirates (164)

Adnan al-Talyani played for Al-Shaab from 1980 to 1999 and the national team from 1983 to 1997. He was a one-club man, spending his entire 19-year career at Al-Shaab.

He played in four FIFA World Cup campaigns and scored 15 goals in 25 matches.

He retired from international football in 1997 as the all-time leader in international appearances to go with 52 goals. He has since been voted the United Arab Emirates’ player of the century.

He is currently 11th on the all-time list for caps.

Mohamed al-Deayea, Saudi Arabia (178)

Mohamed Abdullaziz al-Deayea played in four FIFA World Cup campaigns, helping build his world-record tally of caps for a goalkeeper.

He played for Al-Ta’ee and Al-Hilal in the Saudi Professional League before his retirement in June 2010 at the age of 37. Two years later a farewell match was played between Al-Hilal and Juventus, with 70,000 people packed into the King Fahd Stadium to watch the visitors win 7-1.

The Asian Goalkeeper of the Century was also named best goalkeeper at the AFC Asian Cup in 1996 and 2000, and at the Gulf Cup of Nations in 1998 and 2002.