While many Asian players hope to become the next Park Ji-Sung, who is renowned for being one of Manchester United's most beloved players, Velappan pointed out that most Asian footballers prefer staying close to home as they are able to speak the language and have a good understanding about the culture.
"After Park Ji-Sung I am disappointed that we have not seen many more Asians at the top of European football," he told Goal.com. "A few went and came back, and there are plenty more who are good enough to play in Europe’s top leagues, but Asian players by nature are very home-loving.
"They earn good salaries in the professional leagues here, there are language problems, and the culture is completely different."
However, Velappan believes it is only a matter of time before more Asian players are playing in Europe as many European clubs have begun setting up academies in Asian countries like China and India.
"South Americans and Africans are more adventurous, but I’m sure we will see more Asians moving in future," he said. "China is beginning to produce players, the top European clubs are setting up academies in India and China, and Indonesia might be one to watch in future. Their league structure is not great but their players are technically very sound, a bit like South Americans."