Teerasil Dangda (Thai: ธีรศิลป์ แดงดา, pronounced [tʰīː.rā.sǐn dɛ̄ːŋ.dāː]; born 6 June 1988 in Bangkok) is a Thai professional football player who plays for Muangthong United in the Thai Leagues 1 and the Thailand national team.
Teerasil started his football career playing youth football for Assumption College Thonburi in 2003, aged 15. Two years later he left the club, due to the lack of a professional team (it was only founded in 2011). In 2004–2005 season Teerasil joined Air Technical Training School F.C. in Thai Division 1 League In the same season he made his senior debuts, and scored three goals in only six matches for the club. In 2006 Teerasil moved to Raj Pracha, being an important offensive unit for the side, being the club’s topscorer (nine goals in 18 games) and also assisting in further five goals during the campaign. In 2007 Teerasil joined fellow second divisioner Muangthong United, and was a part of the squad who was crowned champions, contributing with seven goals and six assists.
On 25 July 2007, Teerasil was taken on a trial at Manchester City F.C. (alongside Suree Sukha and Kiatprawut Saiwaeo), after Thai businessman Thaksin Shinawatra bought City earlier in the month. After a long time waiting for their work permits, the trio signed with City on 16 November.
However, after problems with the work permit, Teerasil was loaned to one of City’s new alliances, Grasshopper. After returning to City in 2008, he was still unable to play in England, and after the takeover of Abu Dhabi United Group, the Thai trio were released on 16 October 2008. He later said that his time at City “made him a better footballer”, despite not appearing with the first-team.
Teerasil was loaned to Grasshopper alongside Sukha in November, but both failed to make a first-team appearance, only appearing with the reserves in 1. Liga Classic. He scored twice in six matches for the reserve squad and returned to City in June 2008.
Soon after being released by City, Teerasil returned to his homeland and re-joined Raj Pracha for remainder of the season. He contributed with six goals in only eight games, helping the club to achieve a mid-table position during the campaign.
In 2009 Teerasil returned to Muangthong United. On 8 March 2009 he made his Thailand Premier League debut, in a 3–0 home win over Thai Port, and finished the season with seven goals under his belt. Muangthong was also champions of Thailand.
In 2010, Teerasil repeated his tally of the previous season, and was a part of the squad who was crowned champions of Thailand again. In 2011 he established himself as the club’s top scorer, scoring 13 goals as Muangthong finished third. Dangda was also invited for a trial at Queens Park Rangers in July.
In 2012, Muangthong engaged an unbeaten run which lasted the whole season, and Teerasil also scored four goals in a single match, an 8–1 routing over BBCU on 18 October. Ten days later he scored in a 2–2 draw against BEC Tero Sasana, a goal which granted the title, took his tally to 24 goals and broke the previous record of Ronnachai Sayomchai in 1998 (23 goals).
After his impressive goal tally in the season, Teerasil was invited by La Liga sides Atlético Madrid and Getafe CF for a trial, but as the former was a Muangthong partner, he headed to Atletico in January 2013; he also attracted interest of Trabzonspor in June.
On 9 January 2013 Teerasil travelled to Spain for a two-week trial at Atlético Madrid. He later described the Spanish football as “very quick, strong and with great quality”, after completing his first training with the Madrilenians. Dangda also watched from the stands an Atleti win over Real Zaragoza four days later, and returned to Muangthong in February.
Teerasil’s first goal of the season came from a volley on 2 March 2013 in a 2–1 success against Army United. His second came late in the month, in a 3–0 home win over Songkhla United, and he scored again in the following weekend, against Ratchaburi. After seven matches without scoring, Teerasil netted again on 29 May, but in a 1–3 away loss to Suphanburi. On 23 June he netted twice against BEC Tero, and his first hat-trick of the season came on 5 October, in a 3–1 away win over Osotspa Saraburi.
Teerasil also played in the 2013 AFC Champions League group stage against Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors, Guangzhou Evergrande, and Urawa Red Diamonds. He finished the season with 16 goals in the league (21 overall).
Teerasil started the season as a second striker, playing behind new signing Jay Bothroyd. He scored twice in the second game of the season, a 3–0 win at TOT, and again roughly a month later in a 4–1 success at PTT Rayong. Teerasil appeared in 18 league matches, scoring nine goals.
He played his last match for Muangthong on 2 July, starting in a 0–1 League Cup loss against Buriram United. Teerasil sent a farewell to Muangthong fans after the match.
On 21 February 2014, Teerasil signed with Almería on a one-year loan deal, making him the first Southeast Asia and Thai footballer to play in La Liga. He arrived at his new club on 9 June, being surrounded by supporters in the airport.
Teerasil made his debut in the Spanish top level on 23 August 2014, replacing Fernando Soriano in the 65th minute of a 1–1 home draw against RCD Espanyol, thus becoming the first Thai footballer to do so. He was handed his first start on 5 December, and scored his side’s second of a 4–3 away win against Real Betis, for the campaign’s Copa del Rey.
On 20 January 2015, after an unsuccessful spell, Teerasil returned to his parent club.
Teerasil appeared for Thailand’s under-16 and under-17 squads in 2004, being a part of the squad which played in 2004 AFC U-17 Championship. Two years later, he was also in the under-19 squad which played in 2006 AFC Youth Championship, scoring the first of a 2–1 success against United Arab Emirates; it was Thailand’s only victory of the tournament.
In 2007 Teerasil appeared for the under-23’s. He was part of the Olympic team which failed to make the final cut ahead of 2008 Summer Olympics. In December 2007 he won the U-23 Gold Medal at the Southeast Asian Games, scoring the winner against Myanmar. In the same year Teerasil received his first call-up to the main squad, and was also into the 23-man squad ahead of 2007 AFC Asian Cup, being the youngest of the squad. However, he only appeared once in the whole tournament, coming on as a late substitute in a 1–1 draw against Iraq; the hosts subsequently failed to progress through the knockout stages, and finished third in Group A.
Teerasil was also selected to 2008 AFF Suzuki Cup; he netted four times during the tournament as Thailand finished runner-up, losing to Vietnam. Dangda scored his side’s first in the second leg, but Vietnam managed to score a last-minute goal and was crowned champions. He was an ever-present figure in the international fold since October 2007, his second match being a FIFA World Cup Qualifying against Macau, where he scored the second of a 6–1 win. He was a member of the victorious squad of 2008 T&T Cup at Vietnam.
In Asia’s 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers, under the management of a newly appointed German coach Winfried Schafer, Teerasil featured constantly and scored against Australia and Oman, respectively. He was the top scorer for the 2012 AFF Suzuki Cup, which he scored a hat-rick against Myanmar.
Teerasil won and scored a penalty for Thailand against FC Barcelona in the Catalans’ 2013 Asian Tour in Bangkok. In 2013, he was called up to the national team by Surachai Jaturapattarapong to the 2015 AFC Asian Cup qualification. In October 2013 Dangda played a friendly match against Bahrain, and scored against Iran in the following match, a 1–2 loss at Tehran.
In May 2015, he played for Thailand in the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification (AFC) against Vietnam.
In June 2015, he scored twice in the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification (AFC) against Chinese Taipei.
Teerasil’s style of play or role on the field could be described as a striker or deep-lying forward, as he often comes deep down to help the team maintain possession. Aside from his main position, he can play as the main reference up front or as a midfielder (attacking midfielder or winger).
Teerasil has great quality on the ball, and is also described as quick, skillful and with great vision, which as well as scoring allows him to make many assists for his team mates.