EAFF East Asian Cup 2013 & EAFF Women’s East Asian Cup 2013 Final Competition



EAFF East Asian Cups: A Launchpad to Stardom

The EAFF East Asian Cup, since its beginning in 2003, have played a role as a gateway to stardom for East Asian football players. A great number of football players with exceptional and unique skills, who had debuted through the Championship, have risen to stardom, representative not only of their countries but the entirety of East Asia.
The first player worthy of mention, is the Korea Republic player Park Chu-Young who currently plays for Arsenal. One of his most remarkable performance was at the opening match against the home team China back in Chongqing, 2008, where he scored two goals, including one impressive free-kick goal. His performance in the match earned him the key striker position in the Korea Republic team. He later made himself known in the international football world, kicking a stunning goal against Nigeria in the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.

Korea Republic football player Koo Ja-Cheol is another star player who rose through the EAFF Championships. His debut in the championship was in Chongqing, 2008, when he was just 19 years old, and he went on to take the key position in the 2010 EAFF East Asian Cup held in Japan. He scored in the game against Hong Kong, the first match in the competition, with great prospect as the team’s midfielder. In the same year, he earned the top scorer title (at five goals) in the AFC Asian Cup in Qatar, showing an extraordinary rate of growth as a player. Currently he is a notable player in Vfl Wolfsburg in the German league Bundesliga, and has become a famous football star in Korea Republic with avid fans.

As the backbone of the Japanese team, the midfielder Yasuhito Endō is another notable player. He has played in every EAFF championship since the first competition, and is famous among fans for his accurate passes and seasoned playing style. Yasuhito Endō is a veteran player, having played in 133 A matches and is viewed to be Asia’s most outstanding center midfielder. The Japanese team is also the home for two of the most celebrated players in Asia: Shinji Kagawa, and Yuto Nagamoto, playing for Manchester United and Inter Milan respectively. Through the Championship, Nagamoto took the left full-back position in the Japanese team for the FIFA World Cup, and went as far as to play in the Italian Serie A.

The most prominent star in the Chinese team which have won the most cups, along with Korea Republic, is Zhengzhi. Being an adept midfielder with fairly good passing skills and active playing style, he showed great prospects in the 2003 EAFF East Asian Cup. He has grown to be one of the biggest football stars in China, and played in clubs such as Charlton Athletic and Celtic, with prominence in England and Scotland. He currently plays as the captain in the Guangzhou Evergrande, which seeks to be the Asian top team.

Moreover, DPRK’s leading striker Jong Tae-se also took the EAFF East Asian Cup’s boost to stardom. In 2005 the regional preliminary match against Mongolia was his first debut in an international A match. In the 2008 competition, he was in the spotlight, scoring goals against Korea Republic and Japan. Later he contributed greatly when DPRK made it past the preliminaries in the 2010 FIFA World Cup, which was the first time in 44 years. After playing for the German FC Köln, he transferred to become a well-recognized player in Suwon-Samsung Bluewings, the most popular team in the K league.