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AFC Asian Cup Top Scorers of All Time

Sun 27 June 2021 | 16:30

This is actually part of the AFC Asian Cup records and statistics; who is the Asian Cup top scorer, or better said, AFC Asian Cup top scorers? Guessing it might not be that easy especially if you are not familiar with the Asian football, but let us tell you.

Based on AFC Asian Cup records and statistics, the top former Iranian footballer, Ali Daei, who is currently the record holder for most international goals - with 109 goals - is the Asian Cup top scorer of all time, too, with 14 goals scored in the competition’s history.

However, we are not going to only talk about Ali Daei in this post since it is AFC Asian Cup top scorers of all time after all! So, expect to hear more names and from different nations in Asia.

A List of AFC Asian Cup Top Scorers of All Time

Other than Ali Daei, there are top footballers from UAE, Japan, South Korea, and Saudi Arabia on the list. Let’s see who these footballers are.

Ali Daei (14 Goals)

The

Asian Cup top scorer

of all time based on AFC Asian Cup records and statistics, the top former Iranian forward, Ali Daei, has scored 14 goals in AFC Asian Cup competitions. From all these 14 goals, 8 were scored only in one edition of AFC Cup - actually AFC Cup 1996 - which puts Ali Daei on the second position on the list of AFC top scorers who scored the most number of goals in a single edition of AFC Asian Cup before Almoez Ali of Qatar with 9 goals.

However, with the 8 goals Daei scored in

AFC Asian Cup

1996, he actually became the same tournament’s top scorer; and not only this, he was also named on the same tournament’s Team of the Tournament. One of the few Iranian footballers to have played for the top Bundesliga club, Bayern Munich, Ali Daei was named AFC Asian Footballer of the Year in 1999, on AFC Asian Cup Fans' All Time Best XI in 2019 and was also induced into Asian Football Hall of Fame in 2014.

Lee Dong-Gook (10 Goals)

The only footballer on the list of AFC Asian Cup top scorers of all time other than Ali Daei who has scored more than - or actually equal to - 10 goals in AFC Asian Cup competitions, Lee Dong-Gook is a 42-year-old recently-retired South Korean footballer who was part of the South Korean national team who finished as runners-up twice in AFC Asian Cup competitions; once in 2000 and another time in 2007.

If you like to know the truth, we should say that

South Korea

has not actually won an AFC Asian Cup since 1960, so not only Lee Dong-Gook but also no other South Korean footballer has been honored with an AFC Asian Cup since then, however, Lee Dong-Gook became the top scorer of AFC Asian Cup 2000 with 6 goals and also was named on the same competition’s Team of the Tournament.

Naohiro Takahara (9 Goals)

The first and only Japanese footballer on the list of AFC Asian Cup top scorers of all time, Naohiro Takahara is a 42-year-old forward who is still playing despite his age. He’s actually the president and the playing manager of the club he founded in 2015:

Okinawa SV

. He also served the Japanese national team between 2000 and 2008 making 58 appearances and scoring 23 goals for them in the process.

Takahara was actually part of the Japanese national team who won the 2000 edition of AFC Asian Cup; he was also named on the same competition’s All-Star Team. And in 2007, Takahara became the AFC Asian Cup top scorer with 4 goals alongside Younis Mahmoud of Iraq whose team actually won AFC Asian Cup 2007 and Yasser Al-Qahtani of Saudi Arabia.

Ali Mabkhout (9 Goals)

Ali Ahmed Mabkhout Mohsen Al Hajeri, simply known as Ali Mabkhout in the world of football, is a 30 year-old forward from UAE who was part of the UAE team who finished third in the 2015 edition of AFC Asian Cup after they lost 2-0 to Australia in semi-finals and won 3-2 against Iraq in the third-place match. He also became the only top scorer of the same competition with 5 goals.

Mabkhout also took part in the 2019 edition of AFC Asian Cup with the

UAE national team

and could actually advance to the semi-finals where UAE were eliminated from the competition after they lost 4-0 to Qatar, the actual champions of the competition. Mabkhout scored 4 goals in that competition and finished as the tournament’s second top scorer after Ali Almoez of Qatar with 9 goals. He was also named on the same competition’s Team of the Tournament.

Almoez Ali (9 Goals)

The only Qatari footballer on the list of

AFC Asian Cup top scorers of all time

, Almoez Ali is a 24-year-old forward who currently plays for the Qatari club, Al-Duhail. He was actually born in Sudan but has the citizenship of Qatar, too, and has also played for the Qatari national team since 2016 making 61 appearances and scoring 29 goals for them in the process, in fact, to this date.

Almoez

actually shined in the 2019 edition of AFC Asian Cup where Qatar became the champions and he the top scorer of the tournament with 9 goals, as already mentioned above. We say “he shined” because he actually scored more than twice as much as the other forwards in the tournament. The nearest to him concerning the number of scored goals were Sardar Azmoun of Iran, Yuya Osako of Japan, Ali Makhbout of UAE, and Eldor Shomurodov of Uzbekistan each with 4 goals.

Almoez was also named AFC Asian Cup 2019 Best Player and on the same competition’s Team of the Tournament. He also became AFC U-23 Championship in 2018 with 23 goals. Since Almoez is only 24 years old, there is a high probability that he improves his record including his AFC Asian Cup ones and promote his position on the list of AFC Asian Cup top scorers of all time. We’ll see and surely update you with.

Jasem Al-Huwaidi (8 Goals)

One of the two Kuwaiti footballers on the list of AFC Asian Cup top scorers of all time, Jasem Al-Huwaidi is a 48-year-old retired footballer who played as a forward during his playtime and for three clubs, namely the Kuwaiti club, Al-Salmiya, the Saudi Arabian club, Al-Hilal, and the UAE club,

Al-Shabab

. Al-Huwaidi was a prolific goalscorer, too. He scored 14 goals in 13 appearances that he made for Al-Hilal and 37 goals in 40 appearances that he made for his home-country club, Al-Salmiya.

And for Kuwaiti national team? He actually scored 63 goals in the 74 appearances that he made for them between 1992 and 2003. Al-Huwaidi was part of the Kuwaiti national team in two AFC Asian Cup editions - actually 1996 and 2000 editions, and although he didn’t win a single prize in any of these editions, he was named IFFHS World's Top Goal Scorer - the top scorer in a calendar year - in 1998 with 20 goals.

Younis Mahmoud (8 Goals)

The only Iraqi footballer on the list of

AFC Asian Cup top scorers of all time

, Younis Mahmoud is a 38-year-old retired footballer who took part in four consecutive editions of AFC Asian Cup with the Iraqi national team and scored 8 goals in all these editions; actually one in 2004, four in 2007, one in 2011, and two in 2015 editions of the competition. 

Younis Mahmoud is actually the most decorated footballer on the list of AFC Asian Cup top scorers of all time concerning the total club, international and individual trophies he has won. He has won 17 club and 3 international trophies including one AFC Asian Cup in 2007 and three Qatar Stars League titles from 2007 to 2010, and has 22 individual honors to his name among which are Iraqi Elite Cup Top Scorer in 2001 and AFC Asian Cup Best player in 2007.

Mahmoud also became the AFC Asian Cup 2007 top scorer with 4 goals alongside Naohiro Takahara of Japan and Yasser Al-Qahtani of Saudi Arabia. And the interesting fact about Mahmoud is that he’s the only Iraqi footballer who was once nominated for the Ballon d'Or trophy; actually in 2007 where he finished 29th with 2 points and ahead of some top footballers like David Beckham and Ryan Giggs who either didn’t earn a single point or sufficed just to one point. Quite an achievement for an Asian footballer if you ask us.

Behtash Fariba (7 Goals)

One of the top old-generation Iranian footballers on the list of AFC Asian Cup top scorers of all time, Behtash Fariba is a 66-year-old retired forward who played for only three Iranian clubs during his 12-year career, namely Rah Ahan, Pas, and

Esteghlal

. He also made 16 appearances for the Iranian national team between 1977 and 1986 and scored 14 goals for them during this time.  Fariba was part of the Iranian national team who competed in the 1980 edition of AFC Asian Cup and finished third. He was named the tournament’s top scorer with 7 goals alongside Choi Soon-ho of South Korea. He also participated in 1978 World Cup with the Iranian national team who could at least earn a point in the group stage as they drew 1-1 against Scotland.

Hossein Kalani (7 Goals)

Another old-generation Iranian footballer on the list of AFC Asian Cup top scorers of all time, Hossein Kalani is a 76-year-old retired forward who played for four Iranian clubs during his career, namely Shahin,

Persepolis

, Peykan Tehran, and Shahbaz. He also made 24 appearances for the Iranian national team between 1967 and 1973 and scored 11 goals for them during this time. Kalani participated in two editions of AFC Asian Cup with the Iranian national team, namely the 1968 and 1972 editions of the competition, where he scored 2 goals in the former and 5 goals in the latter actually becoming the latter competition’s only top scorer.

Choi Soon-ho (7 Goals)

And here comes the second and the last South Korean footballer on the list of AFC Asian Cup top scorers of all time: Choi Soon-ho. Soon-ho is actually one of those highly-decorated footballers on the list with 9 club and international trophies and some individual honors to his name including Korean Footballer of the Year in 1990 and two Korean top-tier league, K League 1, titles to his name that he won with two different South Korean clubs, namely Lucky-Goldstar Hwangso and

Pohang Steelworks

. All the 7 goals Choi Soon-ho scored in AFC Asian Cup were in one edition of the competition; actually AFC Asian Cup 1980 where Choi Soon-ho and Behtash Fariba of Iran became the competition’s top scorers jointly. Choi Soon-ho was also named on the tournament’s Team of the Tournament, too.

Faisal Al-Dakhil (7 Goals)

A 63-year-old retired Kuwaiti footballer who not only was a one-club man - he only served the Kuwaiti club, Qadsia SC, during his career - but also a prolific goalscorer at least for the

Kuwaiti national team

. He actually scored 46 goals in the 92 appearances that he made for his country’s national team which translates to exactly one goal in every two appearances.

Faisal Al-Dakhil scored in three editions of AFC Asian Cup, namely the 1976, 1980, and 1984 editions of the competition, but he never became the top scorer of any of the competitions mentioned above. That’s because he didn’t score all his 7 goals in one tournament, otherwise he would probably become the top scorer. He actually scored one goal in the 1976 edition of AFC Asian Cup, five goals in the 1980, and one goal in the 1984 edition of the competition. Although Al-Dakhil never became an AFC Asian Cup top scorer, he won the 1980 edition of the competition with the Kuwaiti national team.

Yasser Al-Qahtani (6 Goals)

The only Saudi Arabian footballer on the list of

AFC Asian Cup top scorers of all time

, Yasser Al-Qahtani is a 38-year-old retired footballer who played for 3 clubs during his career, namely the Saudi Arabian clubs, Al-Qadisiya and Al-Hilal, and the UAE club, Al Ain. He also made 108 appearances for the Saudi Arabian national team between 2002 and 2013 and scored 42 goals for them during this time.

Al-Qahtani is also among the highly-decorated footballers on the list. He won 17 club and 3 international trophies during his playtime including five Saudi Professional League titles, 7 Crown Prince Cups both with Al-Hilal and one Arab Nations Cup with the Saudi Arabian national team in 2002. Although Saudi Arabia did not win AFC Asian Cup 2007, Al-Qahtani became the tournament’s top scorer with 4 goals alongside Younis Mahmoud of Iraq and Naohiro Takahara of Japan. He was also named AFC Asian Footballer of the Year in the same year (2007).

Alexander Geynrikh (6 Goals)

Unlike some other footballers already mentioned on the list, Alexander Geynrikh of Uzbekistan never became the top scorer in any of AFC Asian Cup editions. That’s because he didn’t score all his 6 Asian Cup goals in one edition of the competition. He participated in AFC Asian Cup 2004, 2007, and 2011, with the Uzbek national team and scored 2, 1, and 3 goals respectively becoming the third top goalscorer in AFC Asian Cup 2011 alongside Harry Kewell of Australia, and Ryoichi Maeda and Shinji Okazaki of Japan. The Uzbek national team also finished fourth in the same edition of AFC Asian Cup.

Tim Cahill (6 Goals)

Considered as one of the greatest footballers Australia has ever produced, Tim Cahill is a 41-year-old retired footballer who played the majority of his career for two English clubs, namely

Millwall

and Everton. He actually played 6 years for the former and 8 years for the latter which, in total, comprises two third of his 21-year career. So we’ve not exaggerated if we say, in playstyle, Cahill is more European than Asian, though his country’s national team competes in AFC Asian Cup rather than European cups.

Cahill actually took part in 3 editions of AFC Asian Cup with the

Australian national team

, namely the 2007, 2011, and 2015 editions of the competition, and scored a total of 6 goals in them. He scored one goal in 2007, two goals in 2011, and three goals in the 2015 edition of AFC Asian Cup where Australia actually became champions and Cahill scored Goal of the Tournament, was named on the Team of the Tournament, and also was named Man of the Match in the same tournament’s quarter-finals against China.

And with the two goals Cahill scored in the same match against China he actually set a record: Most goals scored by an Australian in AFC Asian Cup finals. Cahill is also another Asian footballer to have been nominated for the Ballon d'Or trophy; actually in 2006, but he didn’t receive any votes just like 24 out of 50 footballers who had been nominated for the same edition of Ballon d'Or including Michael Ballack of Germany and Steven Gerrard of England.

Ahmed Khalil (6 Goals)

A 30-year-old footballer from UAE who, based on

AFC Asian Cup records and statistics

, has scored 6 goals in two editions of AFC Asian Cup, namely the 2015 and 2019 editions of the competition. Khalil scored 4 goals for UAE in AFC Asian Cup 2015 becoming the second top scorer of the tournament after his fellowman, Ali Mabkhout, with 5 goals, and 2 goals in AFC Asian Cup 2019. Since Khalil is still in the business and will probably take part in the future editions of AFC Asian Cup, there is a high probability that he improves his AFC Asian Cup records which we will update you with surely.

And among the top AFC Asian Cup scorers, we should call

Khalil

a moderately-decorated footballer. He has won 14 club trophies with the two UAE clubs, Al-Ahli and Shabab Al-Ahli, which is not bad for an Asian footballer who has still seven or eight years before the end of his career, and he has also a few individual honors to his name including Asian Footballer of the Year in 2015, Asian Young Footballer of the Year in 2008, and UAE President Cup top goalscorer in 2007-08 season.

Sardar Azmoun (6 Goals)

Just like Ahmed Khalil,

Sardar Azmoun

is also in the business and has taken part in two editions of AFC Asian Cup, namely AFC Asian Cup 2015, and 2019. The difference between Khalil and Azmoun is that Azmoun is even younger - he’s 26 years old by now - and has a long way ahead of him. It is probable that he takes part in the three coming editions of AFC Asian Cup, if nothing bad doesn’t come out of the blue, and improves his AFC Asian Cup records greatly.

Azmoun is in some way like Cahill: He has played for the majority of his career - actually 8 years - in a European league, namely the Russian Premier League, and for the top Russian clubs,

Rubin Kazan

, Rostov, and Zenit Saint Petersburg. Although Russian clubs may not be as big as the Premier League clubs, they are at least European, and that has actually caused Azmoun’s style of play to mimic that of European footballers.

Well, back to AFC Asian Cup! As already mentioned, Sardar Azmoun has taken part in AFC Asian Cup 2015 and 2019 with the Iranian national team. He scored 2 goals in the former and 4 in the latter, and in the latter he was also named on the tournament’s Team of the Tournament. In 2019, he was actually the second top scorer of AFC Asian Cup with 4 goals as mentioned and alongside three other footballers, namely Ali Mabkhout of UAE, Yuya Osako of Japan, and Eldor Shomurodov of Uzbekistan.

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