From Japan to Iraq, we look at some of the top scorers in international football from across the Asian region.
Kiatisuk Senamuang (70 goals) and Piyapong Pue-on (77), Thailand
Although Kiatisuk Senamuang is widely credited as Thailand’s top international goal scorer with 70, Piyapong Pue-on is credited with up to 77 goals, although there is disagreement between the Thailand Football Association and FIFA over the international status of some of Piyapong’s matches. Some lists say he only has 15.
Both, however, are highly regarded players, with Kiatisuk going on to coach the national side to two AFF Championships and become the only player to win the tournament as both player and coach. The former police officer scored 70 goals in 131 games for Thailand from 1992 to 2007. He is nicknamed “Zico” after the Brazilian midfielder he followed as a youngster.
Piyapong was a striker who played for FC Seoul in the South Korean K League, had a role in the 2004 film “Born to Fight,” and is a Thai Air Force officer. He played for Thailand from 1981 to 1997.
Kunishige Kamamoto, Japan (80 goals)
Kunishige Kamamoto is the third-highest scorer in the history of international football and had a spectacular strike-rate, scoring his 80 goals in 84 games for Japan from 1964 to 1977.
Kamamoto spent his entire club career at Yanmar Diesel, which is now Cerezo Osaka, and was named in the league’s Best XI 14 times, was its top scorer seven times and Japanese Footballer of the Year seven times.
He played in two Olympic Games for Japan, winning bronze in 1968 after a personal haul of seven goals at that event.
Hussein Saeed, Iraq (78 goals)
Hussein Saeed scored more international goals than Pele, who got 77, and is considered one of the two best Iraqi footballers of all time.
He spent his entire club career with Al Talaba in Baghdad and played 14 seasons for his nation, scoring 78 goals in 137 games.
He retired at age 32 due to injuries after winning gold at the 1982 Asian Games. He was involved in two winning Gulf Cup teams, being the top scorer at both tournaments.
Sunil Chhetri, India (51 goals)
Sunil Chhetri is the top goalscorer for India with 51 goals in 91 games, which is also the most appearances for the team he captained from 2011 until 2016.
His first international game was in 2005 and he helped them win the Nehru Cup in 2007, 2009 and 2012, as well as the 2011 SAFF Championship.
He was one of India’s best players at the 2008 AFC Challenge Cup, which they won to advance to their first AFC Asian Cup in 27 years.
Chhetri played in all of the matches and scored four goals, including a hat-trick in the final against Tajikistan.
Then-India manager Bob Houghton said after the game: “He is remarkable, brave and honest. He never gives up.”
With stints playing club football in the US’ Major League Soccer and in Portugal, he most recently signed a one-year contract with Bengaluru.
Ali Daei, Iran (109 goals)
Ali Daei is the top scorer in international history, with 25 more than second-placed Ferenc Puskas.
He played 149 games for his country from 1993 to 2006.
Ali Daei in action at the 2006 World Cup.
Daei played most of his club football in Iran and spent five years in Germany playing for Hertha BSC and Bayern Munich, who won the Bundesliga with him and reached the 1999 Champions League final.
He is the only player with a century of international goals. His finest international performance was in the quarter-finals of the 1996 Asian Cup, where he scored four goals in a 6-2 win over South Korea.
He was named the 1999 Asian Footballer of the Year and made the World Cup finals in 2006.