Qatar Football AssociationNews
01.03.2015 3:35 in :

Sydney: With the AFC Asian Cup’s 16th edition now firmly etched in the history books, the Asian Football Confederation’s Research & Support Services Unit has produced a detailed analysis on the players who were on display at Asia’s premier tournament in Australia.

From which A-League clubs had players in the victorious Australia squad, to the number of Korea Republic stars called up from sides in Germany and Qatar, the AFC Asian Cup Australia 2015 Player Release Analysis provides a plethora of fascinating insights – interesting nuggets of information which are sure to be enjoyed by fans and media alike.

Here are just ten of the top facts to emerge from the analysis:

  1. Ten players in the Iraq national team play their club football for Baghdad giants Al Shorta, including Waleed Salim, Durgham Ismail, Marwan Hussein and Salam Shakir who all successfully converted their spot-kicks in Iraq’s penalty shootout win over Iran that decided an epic and hugely entertaining quarter-final clash in Canberra. No other club released more players for the Asian Cup than Al Shorta.
  1. A star from Ange Postecoglou 2015 AFC Asian Cup squad can be found at a club in one of nine different countries outside of Australia. One or more of the current Socceroos select play in the leagues in Belgium, England, Germany, Korea Republic, the Netherlands, Qatar, Russia, Turkey and the USA.
  1. Iraqi legend Younus Mahmoud played for eight clubs before he entered the 2015 AFC Asian Cup as a free agent. The popular Iraqi skipper, who led Iraq to their 2007 AFC Asian Cup title, first caught the eye at Al Talaba before moving to Al Wahda in the UAE before a long and successful spell in Qatar where he played for Al Khor, Al Gharafah, Al Arabi, Wakrah and Al Sadd. He then moved to Saudi Arabia’s Al Ahli but ended his contract with the Jeddah giants a few weeks prior to Iraq’s Asian Cup campaign.
  1. Seven of the Socceroos side that won the Asian Cup title ply their trade in the Hyundai A-League, with six different domestic clubs represented on Ange Postecoglou’s squad list. AFC Champions League champions Western Sydney Wanderers supply two players in the form of livewire forward Tomi Juric and defender Matthew Spiranovic while one player each comes from Adelaide United (Eugene Galekovic), Brisbane Roar (Matt McKay), Melbourne Victory (Mark Milligan), Sydney FC (Terry Antonis) and Wellington Phoenix (Nathan Burns).
  1. Six K League Classic clubs supplied players to the Korea Republic squad who lost to Australia in the final. Uli Stielike’s selection represents the lowest ratio of domestic players called up of all the 16 participating national teams at the 2015 AFC Asian Cup.
  1. Five players in the Iraq squad that come from an Iraqi club other than Al Shorta. Goalkeeper Jalal Hassan and midfielder Saad Abdulameer were enlisted from 2014 AFC Cup runners-up Arbil while the other players not seconded from Al Shorta are reserve keeper Al Yasin (Nafit), defender Samih Saeed (Baghdad) and midfielder Ali Husni (Al Minaa).
  1. Four Korea Republic players were called up from clubs in Germany and Qatar. The Bundesliga-based quartet are: Kim Jin-su (Hoffenheim), Park Joo-hoo (FSV Mainz), Son Heung-min (Bayer Leverkusen) and Koo Ja-cheol (FSV Mainz), while Cho Young-cheol (Qatar SC), Nam Tae-hee (Lekhwiya), Lee Keun-ho (El Jaish) and Han Kook-young (Qatar SC) all feature in the Qatar Stars League.
  1. Having Korea Republic duo Park Joo-hoo and Koo Ja-cheol as well as Japan’s Shinji Okazaki in their ranks, FSV Mainz’s three players in the tournament sees the German outfit as the non-Asian club that provided the most players at the 2015 AFC Asian Cup.
  1. Two players who stood out at this edition of the AFC Asian Cup, Australia’s Massimo Luongo – the tournament’s Most Valuable Player – and Yaser Kasim, are colleagues at Swindon Town, who are in the third tier of English football.
  1. Palestine’s Ramzi Saleh was the only player to be released by an African club – Egypt’s Smouha.