Vote for your best ever AFC Asian Cup forward
Kuala Lumpur: With 100 days to go to AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019, the-AFC.com kicks off a series of articles to determine your all-time best AFC Asian Cup side.
We begin with nine candidates for the two spots up front. Review the nominees and then choose your favourite targetmen to lead the line for this all-star XI in the poll below.
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Ali Daei - IR Iran
Top Scorer - 1996 AFC Asian Cup
No player in the history of football has scored more international goals than Ali Daei’s 109 for Islamic Republic of Iran.
Eight of those strikes came at the 1996 AFC Asian Cup, earning him the top scorer award.
Daei added three more in Lebanon 2000 and two more in China four years later to become the competition’s all-time top goalscorer.
Lee Dong-gook - Korea Republic
Top Scorer - 2000 AFC Asian Cup
Korea Republic’s top scorer amongst active players, Lee won the top scorer award of the 2000 AFC Asian Cup.
He bagged six goals before adding four more in 2004 to take his AFC Asian Cup total to 10 goals, second only to Daei in the overall scorers list.
Naohiro Takahara - Japan
Top Scorer: 2007 AFC Asian Cup (joint); AFC Asian Cup Winner: 2000
It can be argued that Japan’s Takhara could have topped the all-time scoring charts had he not missed the 2004 edition when the Samurai Blue went all the way and lifted the trophy.
In his two appearances in the competition, Takahara scored nine goals and was the top scorer in 2007 with five.
Younis Mahmoud - Iraq
MVP: 2007 AFC Asian Cup; Top Scorer: 2007 AFC Asian Cup (joint); AFC Asian Cup Winner: 2007
If any AFC Asian Cup edition was to be named after one player, the 2007 tournament would certainly bear Mahmoud’s name.
The striker led Iraq to a historic triumph while being chosen the most valuable player and joint top scorer with four goals.
Mahmoud’s longevity and consistency is highlighted by the fact he scored in four editions, netting in 2004, 2007, 2011 and 2015.
Yasser Al Qahtani - Saudi Arabia
Top Scorer: 2007 AFC Asian Cup (joint)
After their 1996 AFC Asian Cup winning side retired, Saudi Arabia struggled to compete for top honours, until Al Qahtani and co emerged, leading the Green Falcons to the 2007 final and only losing narrowly to Iraq.
Al Qahtani was the 2007 joint top scorer with four goals and his impressive displays earned him that year's AFC Player of the Year award.
Ali Mabkhout - United Arab Emirates
Top Scorer: 2015 AFC Asian Cup
Spearheading the attack for a young UAE side that took the continent by storm in 2015 was Mabkhout.
The pacey forward netted five times as the Whites finished third in Australia.
His goal against Bahrain after just 14 seconds is the fastest ever in AFC Asian Cup history.
Jassem Al Houwaidi - Kuwait
Fourth-highest AFC Asian Cup Goalscorer
Only one player in Kuwait’s history scored more goals than Al Houwaidi’s 63.
The iconic number 20 scored six goals as Kuwait finished fourth in the UAE in 1996, he added two in Lebanon 2000, overcoming Kuwait legend Faisal Al Dakhil as the country’s all-time AFC Asian Cup top scorer.
Tim Cahill - Australia
AFC Asian Cup Winner: 2015; Australia's leading scorer at the AFC Asian Cup
Widely considered the finest footballer Australia has produced, Cahill scored the Socceroos’ first-ever AFC Asian Cup goal in 2007 against Oman.
After the disappointment of losing the 2011 final to Japan, Cahill led Australia to their first-ever continental triumph on home soil in 2015.
No Australian has scored more than Cahill's six AFC Asian Cup goals.
Alexander Geynrikh - Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan's leading scorer at the AFC Asian Cup
Geynrikh featured and scored in three consecutive editions of the AFC Asian Cup, tallying six goals across 2004, 2007 and 2011, more than any other Uzbek player has managed.
His efforts in 2011 helped Uzbekistan secure their best result in the competition's history, finishing fourth.
Now that you've seen all nine great goalscorers, vote for your best in the poll and secure them a place in the all-time AFC Asian Cup line-up.
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