Former Fulham star Zesh Rehman has noted a subtle shift in the organisation of Asian football he feels will allow the continent to maximise its enormous interest in the game.
It is common now for top European clubs to head east during pre-season to earn vast amounts of money in front of thousands.
The problem for Asia has always been that most countries have found it impossible to translate that fervour for world class stars into genuine interest in the grass roots of the game.
However, in following Japan's lead, Rehman, who now plays in Hong Kong, believes change is afoot.
– Former Fulham and QPR defender, Zesh Rehman
More countries are starting to do what Japan did and go from the bottom to the top in terms of player development.
In most places it has been top to bottom but you don't do things properly like that.
By doing it the correct way, Japan have been able to bring through the likes of Shinji Kagawa and other high quality players, which has improved them as a team.
Providing they follow that example, given the love of football in the region, I expect other countries to follow suit.