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Top 10 best players in Thai League 1 history

Published at :May 23, 2024 at 10:07 PM
Modified at :May 23, 2024 at 10:07 PM
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Uttiyo Sarkar

Some of the biggest names to play in Thailand’s first division

The Thai League 1, the top division of the Thailand football league system, is one of the most fiercely competitive divisions in Asian Football. The league has been going on for only 28 years, having begun in 1996. It has gone through multiple name changes before rebranding to the Thai League 1 name in 2017.

Despite its short existence, the division has had a positive impact on helping Thailand football grow over the last three decades. The domestic footballers have been helped by the teams bringing in quality players from other countries to help improve the competitiveness in the division.

When it comes to the individuals who have shone in the Thai League 1, most comprise those roped in from South America or Europe. However, some more Thai footballers are growing in stature to enter the Thai League 1’s record books too.

With that being said, here we’ll dive into the top 10 players to have dominated the Thai League 1 so far.

10. Mario Gjurovski

Muangthong United managed to get a major coup when they roped in Red Star Belgrade youth academy graduate Mario Gjurovski in 2012. The North Macedonian attacking midfielder proved to be a perfect fit for the Thai League 1, excelling in the luxurious freedom he got at the club. Gjurovski not only played for Muangthong United but also for Bangkok United and Bangkok Glass.

He guided Muangthong United to the Thai League 1 title in the 2012 season and made a significant impact in the division. In 163 Thai League 1 appearances, Gjurovski scored 76 goals and provided 26 assists. He retired in 2019, before enjoying a three-year stint at Muangthong United’s manager from 2020-2023 too.

9. Teeratep Winothai

An Everton youth academy graduate, Teeratep Winothai made a significant impact after returning to Thailand in 2006. He played for a number of Thailand’s top-division sides, including Muangthong United, BEC Tero Sassana and Bangkok United.

The versatile centre-forward, who could also play in either wing, made 206 appearances in the Thailand top flight in his career. He scored 96 goals in 206 appearances in the Thailand division and is considered one of Thailand’s all-time best forwards.

8. Sarayuth Chaikamdee

Sarayuth Chaikamdee is a renowned Thailand forward after having scored a whopping 31 goals in just 49 international appearances. On top of that, he also enjoyed a prolific career playing in the Thailand top division throughout his career.

He didn’t win that many trophies in his domestic career but he did win the Thailand Premier League Golden Boot in two separate seasons. In 233 appearances in the Thai top flight, Chaikamdee scored 101 goals and played for more than five different Thailand teams.

7. Pipob On-Mo

Even though Pipob On-Mo only made six appearances for Thailand, he earned a popular reputation in the domestic scene for his goal-scoring heroics.

He was a decisive goal-scorer who earned extra respect for his loyalty to Chonburi FC, where he spent 13 years of his career. As a result, Pipob ended up making over 400 appearances in the Thailand top division and scored 108 goals – amongst the highest-ever scored by a local player. He’s now a budding manager who is in charge of Thai League 2 side Rayong FC.

6. Leandro Assumpcao

Leandro Assumpcao arrived in Thailand at the age of 25 after having spent his entire life playing football in Brazil. Despite the significant change in environment, the centre-forward seemingly fell in love with the avid fan-following and culture he witnessed. He has been playing in Thailand for over 13 years now after being brought on board by Chiangri United FC in 2011.

Since then, he has scored 116 goals and provided over 20 assists in over 220 appearances. He’s played for seven different clubs, including Muangthong United, and is currently playing for Thai League 3 side Mahasarakham SBT.

5. Dragan Boskovic

Dragan Boskovic proved to be an ideal fit for the Thai League 1 playing style after being roped in by Suphanburi FC in 2013. He five Thai League 1 teams from 2013-2021, mostly because of how prolific he was in converting chances and scoring key goals.

Boskovic scored 118 goals in 209 appearances in the Thai League 1, providing over 30 assists too. He couldn’t guide any of the five teams he played for to the title, but his excellent goal-scoring heroics made him a hit figure among fans for many years.

4. Diogo Luis Santo

Brazilian Forward Diogo Luis Santo enjoyed a decent stint at Olympiacos in the ‘peak years’ of his career and decided to try out a new journey in Thailand in 2015. He was roped in by Buriram United in 2015 and guided them to three Thai League 1 titles in four years.

Diogo proved to be a superstar in Thailand with his clinical goal-scoring ability, and tendency to dazzle fans with his trickery and creativity. He scored 118 goals and provided 30 assists in just 138 appearances for Buriram United and BG Pathum United – having one of the most prolific goal contributions records in Thai League history.

3. Teerasil Dangda

Teerasil Dangda is widely considered one of Thailand’s all-time best players and arguably their best footballer in the 21st century. He has scored 64 goals for the national team and is just eight goals away from being the all-time top scorer. But Dangda has been an excellent player in the Thailand top division and spent the majority of his career playing in his country.

Apart from one season in La Liga for Almeria and a few in Japan, Dangda has spent over 15 seasons playing in Thailand and is a Muangthong United legend. He won four Thai League 1 titles with Muangthong and was a tormenting player for defenders in the top flight, being renowned for his pace, skilful nature and ruthlessness in front of goal. Dangda has scored 143 goals in over 300 games in the Thai top flight, being the most prolific Thailand player to do so too.

2. Cleiton Silva

The current East Bengal captain, Cleiton Silva’s actual rise to fame in Asian football came in his years in Thailand. Cleiton played for four Thailand top division clubs in BEC Tero Sasana, Muangthong United, Chiangri United, and Suphanburi.

He won the Thai League 1 with Muangthong United in 2016 and won the Thai top division Golden Boot in two seasons. Silva was at his clinical best in his years in the Thai top flight, scoring a whopping 144 goals in just 193 appearances for the different clubs.

1. Herberty Fernandes

The Thailand Football League goal records are mostly dominated by Brazilians and the one atop the tally is Herberty Fernandes. After having impressed in Japan, Herberty was brought to Thailand by Ratchaburi in 2014. Hence began the major boost that his footballing career needed for him to prosper. Herberty took to the Thailand League 1 like fish to water.

He excelled in tormenting defenders with his pace and trickery, while his relentless goal-scoring ability helped him stand out from the rest. While the Brazilian forward never won a Thai League 1 title in his career, he scored an incredible 159 goals in 249 appearances from 2014 to 2023. His amazing goal record makes him the all-time top goal-scorer in Thai Football League history and is a feat that any foreign player will find extremely hard to surpass.

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