MOTD Top 10: Best Premier League players from 'rest of the world'

Park Ji-Sung, Christian Pulisic, Shinji Okazaki
Do Park Ji-sung, Christian Pulisic or Shinji Okazaki make your top three?

The Match of the Day Top 10 podcast has discussed the best South American players and debated the best European imports, so all that's left is the rest of the world.

Gary Lineker, Alan Shearer and Micah Richards will return in the spring with their latest series of the BBC Sounds hit, ranking their top 10s from an assortment of topics across the Premier League era.

But we're giving you an early chance to get involved, by letting you pick your top three for each of the upcoming shows, and the trio will get to see your choices before they record the pod for BBC Sounds.

Today's subject is the best players who have made an impression having come from overseas, specifically those from Asia, Australasia, Central America, the Caribbean, and North America.

The gang previously ranked Thierry Henry as the best European player to have graced the Premier League and Sergio Aguero as the best South American.

And one episode in this new series will focus on the best African players.

But what about the rest of the world?

"This is everywhere on the planet apart from the places we've already done - which didn't leave much! - but there are still some excellent players on this list," Lineker told BBC Sport.

"I think what it shows is how global the Premier League is now. Footballers have travelled all over the world to play in different leagues for years and years, but we are very lucky in this country to have had so much variety and quality.

"We arguably have the most exciting and competitive league in the world as well as vast financial muscle and it attracts many of the great players from every corner of the globe.

"With that comes massive attention in their home countries too.

"Son Heung-min for example is a national hero in South Korea - there is coverage of whatever he does and thousands of Koreans go to every game he plays in this country - so it means there is always great interest in the Premier League from around the world, which is part of what makes it so special."

Rest of World Premier League players

Rank your favourite rest of the world Premier League players

1. Park Ji-sung

A Manchester United legend who spent seven years at the club. The South Korea midfielder joined United from PSV Eindhoven in 2005 and enjoyed many trophy laden seasons at Old Trafford.

By the time he left to join QPR in 2012 he had a Champions League winner's medal and had won four Premier League titles, three League Cups and a Club World Cup.

Park had one more season in the top flight with QPR but his best years were definitely at United and, following a loan spell at his former club PSV, he retired in 2014.

2. Shinji Kagawa

Another player who got his taste of Premier League football with Manchester United. The Japan international joined the Red Devils in 2012 from Borussia Dortmund and he scored on his home debut - a 3-2 win against Fulham on 25 August that year.

In March 2012 he made history by becoming the first Asian playerexternal-link to score a hat-trick in the Premier League in a 4-0 victory over Norwich.

Kagawa's Premier League stay was relatively brief as he left in 2014 to return to Dortmund.

3. Shinji Okazaki

Shinji Okazaki, like the rest of the Leicester City squad in the 2015-16 season, has his name in football folklore after playing his part in that unlikely Foxes Premier League title win.

Moving to England for the first time in 2015, Okazaki spent four seasons at Leicester and scored a memorable goal in that fairytale campaign with a stunning overhead kick against Newcastle that put his side five points clear at the top of the table.

His performances for Leicester in the title-winning season saw him named the Asian International Player of the Year in 2016.

4. Tim Cahill

An Everton legend, Cahill first joined the Toffees in 2004 after several seasons at Millwall, where he started his professional career.

The Australian was named Everton's player of the year in his first season at the club and also finished that maiden campaign as their top scorer with 12 goals in all competitions.

While he never quite matched that tally in subsequent seasons, the midfielder still popped up with some crucial goals and particularly seemed to raise his game for the Merseyside derby. In his eight years at Everton he scored five goals against Liverpool.

5. Mark Viduka

Another Australian makes the top 10 and this is a player Leeds fans will remember fondly.

After moving to Elland Road from Celtic in 2000, Viduka scored 22 goals in his first season at the club, memorably hitting four against Liverpool in a thrilling 4-3 win.

He would reach double figures in each of his four seasons at Leeds, including 20 in the 2003-04 campaign, making him one of the highest scorers in the Premier League.

6. Son Heung-min

The first active Premier League player we come to on this list. A footballer who always plays with a smile on his face, Son has been as much a key player for Tottenham in recent years as Harry Kane.

The pair famously developed an almost telepathic understanding last season, combining to form statistically the best partnership in Premier League history as they broke Alan Shearer and Chris Sutton's record of assisting each other for 13 goals.

Son has scored 18 or more goals in every season since 2016-17 for Spurs and the South Korean is undoubtedly one of the best players in the top flight right now.

7. Dwight Yorke

One of the great aspects of football in the 1990s was strike partnerships. There were many great pairings but few as good as Dwight Yorke and Andrew Cole at Manchester United.

However, Yorke, who hails from Trinidad and Tobago, first made a name for himself at Aston Villa after being discovered by Graham Taylor during a tour of the West Indies.

Yorke was prolific at Villa and after a couple of seasons in which he scored 20+ goals, he moved to Manchester United in 1998.

He immediately hit it off with Cole and the pair combined to fire United to the Treble of Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League, with Yorke finishing as the league top scorer with 18 goals. Yorke scored 48 goals in 96 Premier League games for United before joining Blackburn in 2002.

8. Clint Dempsey

There are not too many instances of players making the move from Major League Soccer and becoming a success in the Premier League but Clint Dempsey is certainly one of them.

The former USA international joined Fulham in January 2007 and memorably scored the winning goal against Liverpool in May that year to effectively save the Cottagers from relegation to the Championship.

Dempsey finished the 2008-09 season as the club's joint top league scorer with seven goals as Fulham finished seventh - their highest-ever finish. There were other memorable moments - a stunning goal against Juventus in the Europa League last 16 in 2010 and a hat-trick in 2011-12, making him the first American to score three goals in a Premier League game.

Dempsey joined Tottenham in 2013, leaving Fulham as their highest Premier League scorer with 50 goals, and while he did scorer a winner against Manchester United at Old Trafford, his best years were certainly while at Fulham.

9. Brad Friedel

The first and only goalkeeper on this list, the American spent almost two decades in the Premier League, playing for Liverpool, Blackburn, Aston Villa and Tottenham.

It was at Blackburn that Friedel enjoyed most success. He was named man of the match as Rovers beat Tottenham to win the League Cup in 2002 and then kept an impressive 15 clean sheets in the following season.

Friedel scored in a 3-2 loss to Charlton in 2003, becoming only the second goalkeeper in Premier League history to score, after Peter Schmeichel for Aston Villa in 2001.

10. Christian Pulisic

A third American player rounds off the list. Just 23, Christian Pulisic has plenty of time to develop into one of the greatest overseas footballers to grace the Premier League but already the youngster is making a big impression at Chelsea.

Pulisic joined Chelsea from Borussia Dortmund in 2019 for £58m - the highest transfer fee for an American player. It didn't take long for him to make an impression as he scored a perfect' hat-trick - left foot, right foot and headed effort - in a 4-2 win against Burnley in October 2019.

The winger has continued to produce a number of standout performances and there's definitely even more to come.

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