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Ali Daei among AFC legends

Tehran The Asian soccer federation (AFC) has put Ali Daei on a list of legends that went back to where it all started to cap off their careers.

The AFC named eight Asian soccer icons that were successful in foreign leagues and then again in their own countries’ leagues.

Ali Daei (Iran), Younis Mahmoud (Iraq), Roda Antar (Lebanon), Tim Cahill (Australia), Igor Shkvyrin (Uzbekistan), Zheng Zhi (China), Shunsuke Nakamura (Japan), and Sun Jihai (China) are seen on the list.

The AFC named Daei “one of the biggest names” of Asian soccer, and added, “Ali Daei was already 27 when he departed Persepolis for Qatari outfit Al Sadd, but he was only a fraction of the way to establishing the legendary figures he is known for today.”

“Daei left the Iranian club game with 21 international goals to his name. When he returned seven years later, that tally had ballooned to 81, with the prolific striker also winning a Bundesliga title with Bayern Munich in the intervening years.

The report went on to say that Daei “scored 16 league goals in his return season with Persepolis, then bagged 35 goals in all competitions in two seasons with Saba Battery, before scoring 10 times to help his final club Saipa win the Iran Pro League title as a 38-year-old in 2007.”

“Daei also added another 28 international goals during his four-season farewell to Iranian football, finishing with a world record 109, and a reputation as one of the global game’s great scorers.”

Daei is currently the only man to have scored more than 100 goals for his national team, followed by the Portuguese legend Cristiano Ronaldo with 99 goals.

Source: Islamic Republic News Agency – IRNA


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