Chasing History: ACL Top Scorer
Kuala Lumpur: Baghdad Bounedjah's brace in the AFC Champions League quarter-final first leg against Esteghlal took him to 11 goals for the 2018 edition, just two off the record. We look back at the four men still ahead of the Algerian and those still in the hunt.
When Dalian Shide's Hao Haidong was crowned the first top scorer of the AFC Champions League era in 2003, few might have expected it would take six years before anyone could break his record of nine goals in a single tournament.
In 2009, Leandro's Gamba Osaka was the first to do so by getting into double digits, with his tally being surpassed by five other men since.
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Al Sadd's Baghdad Bounedjah (below) is the latest to do so and he, along with fellow quarter-finalists Youssef El Arabi of Al Duhail (9 goals) and Suwon Samsung Bluewings' Dejan Damjanovic (7 goals), will be looking to write their names in the record books and top the four men at the top of the scoring standings.
12 Goals - Ricardo Oliveira (Al Jazira)
2012 AFC Champions League
Ricardo Oliveira set a new goalscoring record for the AFC Champions League by netting 12 goals for Al Jazira from the United Arab Emirates during the 2012 season, breaking Leandro's three year record and becoming just the second player to tally double digits.
Even more impressive was that the Brazilian striker in fact matched the previous landmark of 10 goals during the Group Stage, but went on to make history by scoring two more in the Round of 16 defeat to Saudi Arabia’s Al Ahli.
12 Goals - Asamoah Gyan (Al Ain)
2014 AFC Champions League
Ghana international Asamoah Gyan played a major role for United Arab Emirates powerhouse Al Ain in 2014, scoring a total of 12 goals - just one shy of the record the year before set by the man who is next in our list.
Gyan scored seven goals in the Group Stage and five more en route to the semi-finals where Al Ain lost 4-2 on aggregate to Saudi Arabia’s Al Hilal. Gyan went on to be named the 2014 AFC Foreign Player of the Year.
13 Goals - Muriqui (Guangzhou Evergrande)
2013 AFC Champions League
Brazil’s Luiz Guilherme da Conceicao Silva, or Muriqui, was to overtake Oliveira’s record a year after his compatriot thanks to the 13 goals he scored for Chinese Super League giants Guangzhou Evergrande during their 2013 AFC Champions League title success.
Muriqui surpassed his fellow Brazilian's achievement after finding the net seven times during the knockout phase, adding to the six goals he bagged during the Group Stage. Muriqui was subsequently named the AFC Foreign Player of the Year.
13 Goals - Adriano (FC Seoul)
2016 AFC Champions League
In what was a sign of things to come, Adriano (Carlos Adriano de Sousa Cruz) scored four times in FC Seoul’s opening Group Stage fixture against Buriram United in 2016.
A further nine strikes saw the Brazilian forward equal Muriqui’s 2013 record of 13 goals. His efforts, however, could not stop the Korea Republic side crashing out in the semi-finals after defeat to eventual winners Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors.
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