Vote for your best ever AFC Asian Cup goalkeeper
Kuala Lumpur: We are three months away from January's AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019, and the-AFC.com continues its series of articles to determine your all-time best AFC Asian Cup side.
So, here are six candidates for one spot between the sticks. Review the nominees and then choose your favourite goalkeeper for this all-star XI in the poll below.
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Mohammed Al Deayea - Saudi Arabia
Best Goalkeeper – 1996 and 2000 AFC Asian Cup
Only one player in world football has ever won more caps than Mohammed Al Deayea’s 178. Saudi Arabia’s iconic goalkeeper succeeded his older brother Abdullah in becoming the country’s number one in 1993.
In his 13 years as Saudi Arabia’s custodian, Al Deayea helped his team win the AFC Asian Cup in 1996 and finish runners-up four years later. On both occasions he was named the tournament’s best goalkeeper.
Al Deayea represented Saudi Arabia in three FIFA World Cups; 1994, 1998 and 2002 and was also crowned continental champion at club level with Al Hilal in 2000.
Lee Woon-jae - Korea Republic
Team of the Tournament – 2007 AFC Asian Cup
After Al Deayea and Jordan’s Amer Shafei, Lee Woon-jae is Asia’s third most capped goalkeeper, representing Korea Republic 133 times in his career.
Lee was named in the 2007 AFC Asian Cup team of the Tournament after keeping four clean sheets as the Taeguk Warriors won bronze. It was his decisive save in the penalty shootout against Japan that gave Korea Republic third place at the expense of their rivals.
Having represented his country in four FIFA World Cups, Lee was a fundamental part of the team that stunned the world to finish fourth at the 2002 World Cup co-hosted by Korea Republic and Japan.
Noor Sabri - Iraq
Best Goalkeeper and Champion – 2007 AFC Asian Cup
Iraq conceded just two goals in their historic run to winning the 2007 AFC Asian Cup, as Sabri helped them record four consecutive clean sheets.
In the semi-final, after a goalless draw at the end of 120 minutes, Sabri was Iraq’s hero, saving Yeom Ki-hun’s effort in the penalty shootout before Kim Jung-woo hit the post sending Iraq into the final for the first time in their history.
Sabri was Iraq’s number one for 16 years, winning 100 caps and representing the country at the 2004 Olympic Games where the Lions of Mesopatamia finished fourth.
Yoshikatsu Kawaguchi - Japan
Champion – 2000 and 2004 AFC Asian Cup, Team of the Tournament - 2004 AFC Asian Cup
Two-time AFC Asian Cup winner Yoshikatsu Kawaguchi is Japan’s third most capped player, representing the country 116 times between 1997 and 2008.
After impressing at the U23 level, keeping a clean sheet for Japan as they defeat Brazil 1-0 at the 1996 Olympic Games, Kawaguchi became the Samurai Blue’s undisputed number one for the next decade.
Kawaguchi played in Japan’s first FIFA World Cup appearance in 1998 and went on to appear in the next two editions of the tournament.
Mark Schwarzer - Australia
Runner-up – 2011 AFC Asian Cup
Despite retiring just two years before the Socceroos became Asian champions in 2015, Schwarzer is widely recognised as Australia’s finest goalkeeper of all time.
In 2011, he helped Australia reach the final, delivering four clean sheets. He also appeared in two FIFA World Cups in 2006 and 2010.
The nation’s most capped player, with 109 appearances, Schwarzer spent two decades in English football, representing the likes of Chelsea and Leicester City where he won the Premier League title.
Nasser Hejazi - IR Iran
Champion – 1972 and 1976 AFC Asian Cup
One of Asia’s greatest goalkeepers of the 20th century, Nasser Hejazi (back row, second from left) was Iran’s number one as they won back-to-back AFC Asian Cup titles in 1972 and 1976.
Hejazi represented IR Iran in the 1972 Olympic Games and was part of the first IR Iran team to qualify to the FIFA World Cup six year later.
At club level, Hejazi represented Esteghlal for 16 years, leading the team (then known as Taj) to become the first Iranian side to win the Asian Club Championship in 1970.
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