Saturday , July 13 2024

Indonesia bring footballers playing in Europe to Asian Cup

Indonesia announced a list of 26 players for the 2024 Asian Cup with many naturalized players and those playing in Europe.

Indonesian defender Justin Hubner, who is playing for Wolves in the English Premier League, was called up for Asian Cup. Photo by PSSI

Indonesian defender Justin Hubner, who is playing for Wolves in the English Premier League, was called up for Asian Cup. Photo by PSSI

Of the 28 names training in Turkey, two players that were not selected are midfielder Adam Alis and Arkhan Fikri. However, coach Shin Tae-yong still kept both of them on the team, in case another player gets injured.

Indonesia’s squad list has seven naturalized players, notably defender Justin Hubner of Wolves in the English Premier League, Jordi Amat of Malaysian club Johor Darul Tazim who has played for Espanyol and Rayo Vallecano in Spanish league La Liga and EPL for Swansea City.

The other five players in this category are defender Sandy Walsh (Mechelen, Belgium), Shayne Pattynama (Viking, Norway), midfielder Marc Klok (Persib Bandung, Indonesia), Ivar Jenner (Utrecht Youth, Netherlands) and striker Rafael Struick (ADO Den Haag, Netherlands). Except for Klok, the other players are all of Indonesian descent.

Among the seven players in Europe, in addition to Huber, Walsh, Pattynama, Jenner and Struick, there is also the 1.96 m tall defender Elkan Baggott of Ipswich Town in England’s Football League Third Division and midfielder Marselino Ferdinan who plays for Deinze in the Belgian Second Division.

To prepare for the 2024 Asian Cup, Indonesia gathered the team on Dec. 20 and spent two weeks training in Turkey.

On Jan. 2, they played a friendly match and lost 4-0 to Libya, but coach Shin downplayed the result because his goal was to test different players and tactics.

Indonesia fielded their strongest squad for the rematch with Libya on Friday and lost 1-2. After that, Indonesia will go to Qatar before playing a friendly match with Iran on Jan. 9.

Indonesia will play the opening match of group D against Iraq on Jan. 15, followed by Vietnam on the 19th and Japan on the 24th.

Japan have the strongest squad in the group and Iraq just beat Indonesia 5-1 in the opening match of the 2026 World Cup second qualifying round, while Indonesia have not beaten Vietnam since 2016.

Before this year’s tournament, Indonesia had participated in the Asian Cup four times but failed to get past the group stage. Their FIFA world ranking is 146th, the lowest in group D after Vietnam (94th), Iraq (63rd) and Japan (17th).

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