Kuala Lumpur: The AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2023™ is less than three months away with the cast of 24 teams cranking up their preparations.
As we eagerly await the opening match between Qatar and Lebanon on January 12, 2024, we invite you - the fans - to test your AFC Asian Cup knowledge, beginning with the early years of the continental showpiece.
Kuala Lumpur: They are Asian football’s great managers, motivators and masterminds.
More importantly, they are head coaches who steered their teams to AFC Asian Cup™ glory as head coaches.
As the countdown continues to the 18th edition of the tournament in Qatar, join us as we examine the successes of 10 of Asia’s all-time coaching greats, and help us to celebrate their respective AFC Asian Cup successes by voting your favourite.
Kuala Lumpur: In the modern era, no Asian men's team has enjoyed the success on the international and Continental stage as that of the Samurai Blue in the period from 2000 to 2011.
Beginning with their second AFC Asian Cup™ title at Lebanon 2000 and culminating in Qatar 2011 with their fourth, and including two FIFA World Cup Round of 16 finishes, Japan enjoyed a period of dominance and records that few have accomplished before and since.
While their three AFC Asian Cup championships from four tournaments is the physical evidence of their success, Japan also achieved record finishes at the FIFA Confederations Cup (runners-up) and the Asian Games (gold), while their efforts in the FIFA World Cup and Olympic Games were also, at the time, new milestones for the national side.
Greatest AFC Asian Cup teams - Saudi Arabia (1980s-90s)
Kuala Lumpur: Over the past few decades, the AFC Asian Cup™ has witnessed some amazing teams with the Saudi Arabia side of the 1980s-90s the focus of our latest article.
When Japan defeated China PR to be crowned continental champions in 2004, that was the first AFC Asian Cup final not to feature Saudi Arabia for 24 years. This incredible stat is perhaps the best testament to how dominant the Green Falcons had been in the last part of the 20th century.
Kuala Lumpur: East Asian nations had little success at the AFC Asian Cup™ in the aftermath of Korea Republic’s back-to-back title wins in the competition’s formative years. However, after a period of West Asian dominance, the tide was about to turn as Japan emerged as the continent’s dominant force.
Japan’s AFC Asian Cup win on home soil in 1992 might have come as a surprise, but on hindsight it proved to be a precursor of a period of superiority whose roots lay in the advent of professionalism in the east Asian nation and a remarkable attention to detail.
Until the early 1990s the Samurai Blue had been a minor player at the AFC Asian Cup but, with the arrival of the J.League in 1993 and the dawn of an era that brought with it rapid development at all levels, Japanese football was on the rise.
Kuala Lumpur: After Korea Republic and Islamic Republic of Iran notched up multiple wins in the first six editions of the AFC Asian Cup™, the start of the 1980s brought with it another change in the landscape of the Asian game as teams from West Asia took a stranglehold on the sport.
Kuwait had signaled their status as one of the rising powers of Asian football in 1976 in reaching the final of the AFC Asian Cup in just their second appearance and, on home soil four years later, the Gulf state was to go one step further.
Kuala Lumpur: Korea Republic claimed the first two AFC Asian Cup™ titles but, after near-misses in both 1956 and 1960, Israel sparked a shift in the balance of power in 1964, paving the way for an even more dominant force to take control.
After back-to-back runners-up finishes, persistence paid off as Israel added a new name to the AFC Asian Cup trophy as they claimed the title in front of their own fans when the country hosted the third edition of the continental championship.
Kuala Lumpur: From the humblest beginnings, the AFC Asian Cup™ has grown into the greatest football show on the continent with the 18th edition, which kicks off in Qatar in just under a hundred days, set to be the best ever.
But even in its earliest days, the prestige of claiming the continental crown brought with it fame, respect and a trip to the presidential palace. the-AFC.com retraces the AFC Asian Cup's journey through the years with the first of a four-part series.